Author's Note: Hey everyone! Okay, so a few of you disagree with me on the concept of what is or isn't 'too bad'... Maybe we'll agree more as you read further and see what my idea of 'bad' truly is... Anyway, I want to thank Link's Rose, BlueRiverSteel, guest, Nyx Ro, soccerchick03, Lupus wolf, catspaw439, ab89us, Keira, TheWritingGirl23, angelofheaven001, HunterChic1807, NymphRiannon, Darth Tornado, LeeMarieJack, DeepWaterBlack, pryde23, Miss Jackson Grayson-Barton, Akatsuki Child, Dark-Supernatural-Angel, KasiaO, Jay Nice, OnyxDay, medievalwolf, whovialfangirl, Aunt Ginny Potter, Jasper6509, Jennik55, MiniGirl16, LilyBolt, DeanCasLover22, BranchSuper, Serie11, ncsupnatfan, Boudicca1, 36sakuya76, Acuteangle101, ErinLisaA, texican2436, moose, evave2, miss happy and lucky, Boffer4life, becca65d, anayathefangirl, Kabrinastar, saniam13, VattaKeto, Cxcdeanxhester, Irreality, angel de acuario, and Eliza for their wonderful reviews. You guys are great!
Chapter One Hundred and Sixty-Three: Losing It
Nothing. It had been a full day and there was absolutely no sign at all of Dean. Cas had found no trace of any clues at the school, they had received no callbacks from any of their contacts, Gabriel hadn't returned, and their oldest son hadn't come running back through their door saying that he'd beaten the crap out of the demon and escaped (not likely but not impossible). John was officially… pissed? Worried? Crazy? All of the above.
And he was exhausted. He hadn't slept at all the previous night and now that the day was more than half over he was running on fumes. Well, fumes and caffeine. But that just wasn't cutting it anymore. And John realized that the combination of volatile emotions and lack of sleep were making him snap at everyone, but he was just too tired and emotional to really care enough to reign himself in.
"What the hell do you mean that you couldn't find anything?" He practically screamed at Cas.
"We all knew that it was a long shot for me to check out those locations."
It had been decided that Cas would go look in all of the places that he knew that demons had taken prisoners to in the alternate future.
"Well, if you knew that it would be a waste of time that you could've been helping my son, why'd you bother to go?"
"Because I am attempting to think of ways to help locate Dean."
"Well, great job."
"Dad, drop it. Cas is doing all he can."
John spun to see Sam standing in the room.
"So am I, Sam. But you don't see me going out reliving my glory days."
The boy wrinkled his brow in confusion.
"That was not what I was doing by visiting those locations." Cas protested.
"Sure it wasn't. You just really thought that demons would take my son to locations that they haven't gone to yet and that have no significance to anyone but you and Dean, right?"
"Since we have changed events, it was possible that they had moved into those areas earlier than expected."
"And remind me how that worked out."
"That is not the point."
"A completely wasted day while my son is with Hell's top torturer is exactly the point!"
"What are you even talking about?" Sam questioned.
"Nothing." John responded.
"What places are you talking about that Cas went to? And why would they mean something to Dean and Cas? And what are you talking about when you say the demons don't know about them yet? Is something else going to happen?"
"It's not important." John reached up and massaged his forehead. It was all too damned much. He wished that Mary would hang up the phone and come take care of Sam so that he could finish yelling at Cas (even though he knew deep down that it wasn't the angel that he was actually angry with) and then maybe he'd give in and put his head down for five minutes.
"Dean's missing and you guys are still trying to keep secrets from me?"
"No! Just tell me what's going on!"
"It's nothing you need to know about."
"So what? You'll finally tell me at Dean's funeral?"
"Shut up!" John screamed. "One more word comes out of your mouth and I swear…"
"What? What are you going to do? All I want is to help Dean!"
"That's what I'm trying to do and I can't even think with you whining for answers that you don't need right now."
"Dad, just think about…"
"No! Get to your room! NOW!"
Sam flinched, then spun and ran up the stairs.
"You didn't need to yell at him, John." He hung his head, but still had to resist the urge to snap at his wife, who had entered the room at some point in the last few seconds.
"He was pushing."
"He's just as worried as the rest of us."
"Just don't, John. We have bigger things to worry about right now."
"Please tell me we got a lead."
"We have a lead."
"As hunters ever are. There are demon omens and they're quite impressive."
"Then we check it out. We rip Alastair to pieces and take Dean back." All feelings of exhaustion, fear, and worry dropped away and John allowed his anger to fuel him. He couldn't wait to get his hands on that demon. And he needed to get his son back.
The pain was terrible but Dean forced himself to run anyways. He'd never gotten the chance to escape when he'd been in Hell, but this wasn't Hell and they'd made the mistake of leaving him unguarded. The young hunter wasn't sure why they'd unchained his hands and feet… maybe it was related to how they'd been torturing him before he'd passed out. His memory of that was slightly fuzzy. Never a good thing. But Dean was quite certain that he'd be reliving those sessions over and over in his nightmares for a long time to come, so the memories could stay gone for a while longer in his opinion. For now, the important thing was that he'd awoken unchained and unguarded.
So Dean had forced his bloody and broken body up and off the table and had promptly fallen to the ground. He'd reached up and used the very same thing that had held him down to be tortured to pull himself back up then he'd made his way slowly and painfully to the door. Once there, the hunter had paused. How much damage had been done to his body? Was this bizarre endless Hell torture room the only thing still keeping him alive? If he stepped through the doorway, would he collapse to the floor dead? In the end, it didn't matter. He couldn't stay here and wait to be taken apart further by Alastair. He'd rather die than be tortured until he broke (which would never happen, so the torment was destine to be eternal). Taking a deep breath, and trying to ignore the uncomfortable and unsettling rattle in his chest, Dean had stepped out of the room. And found that he was still alive. So he made the best of it and ran. Or limp-ran… a kind of strange almost skipping motion that made him appear drunk. Not that there was anyone around to see his weird-ass running. The halls were deserted. It was almost enough to make him believe that this was all some sort of elaborate trap (although why they'd need to trap him after they'd already had him captured and chained down to a table to be tortured was beyond him).
But, possibility of a trap or not, Dean had to keep moving. So he ran. He ran until he felt as though he'd fall to the floor and never get up again. And then he kept running. The hunter tried to ignore the fact that he was leaving behind bloody footprints that would be easy for anyone to follow. Nothing he could do about that. When he got to a staircase leading down, he tried not to smirk. He'd known that the basement-like room hadn't really been underground. The teen hung onto the railing to steady himself as he took the steps slowly. According to the number in the stairwell, he was on the fifth floor. Not too bad.
Once on the ground floor, Dean made his way to the stairwell door, then collapsed to his knees as the world spun around him. A combination of pain and blood loss for certain. But he'd keep going. He had to.
Dean crawled back over to the steps, gripped the railing and used it to pull himself back up. Once he was standing, he limped back to the door and made his way out into a hall. Right near the door was an emergency exit sign. Dean studied it for a moment before turning in the direction of the closest exit. The hunter could no longer even pretend to run, but he still kept going. He was going to make it.
But then he heard something that made him stop short. He swore that the blood in his veins even stopped flowing. It was screams. Screams of pain. And it was Sammy doing the screaming.
Dean found the strength to run again as he took off in the direction of the sound. His heart was beating wildly and he could taste the fear on his tongue. No. Not Sammy. They couldn't have him…
Dean reached the door where the screams were coming from and threw it open, ready to kill anyone or anything that was hurting his brother. He'd rip them apart with his bare hands and then carry his brother out of here. No one was allowed to lay a hand on Sammy.
But the sight that greeted him was worse than anything he could ever have imagined. Sam was chained down just as he had been, naked from the waist up, and completely covered in blood. The boy was crying, but no tears could run down his face since his eyes were completely missing. Dean choked back a sob of his own.
"So nice of you to join us, Dean." Alastair commented, from where he stood over the bloody mess of the child.
"Well, you were not being very forthcoming with information… so I thought maybe our other guest would be."
"Sammy! Let him go, you feakin' asshole!"
"Dean…" The boy on the table choked out.
"Now Dean, do you really think I'd just let him…"
That was as far as the monster got before Dean tackled him. But the move was pointless. Alastair was a powerful demon and Dean was a broken, weak, bloody teenager. The winner of the battle was never really in question. Alastair grabbed Dean by the neck, raised him up off of his feet, and plunged a knife into his ribs. Dean let out a strangled moan. Then he was dropped to the floor.
"Let… let… Sammy… go…" Dean gasped out.
"Well, since it appears that he knows nothing of value, I might just torture him until he dies..."
"Unless, you were to tell me what I need to know. There are angels here working with us. They could easily heal your brother from all of these nasty wounds."
"Dean… help… please…" Sam's voice was terribly weak.
"I don't have your answers." Dean lied. "I'd tell you if could, just to stop this. But I can't."
"Then little brother dies painfully."
"It's your own fault. You never should've left him with just a civilian to guard him." Alastair made a 'tsk tsk' sound. "An angel easily smote the cop within in a second and then my demons dragged your precious brother back to me."
Dean blinked. An angel smote Anderson? That was impossible. Angel powers couldn't touch the guy. But the angels and demons didn't know that. Which meant that Alastair was lying. But why… His mind raced as he thought back on everything that had just happened and everything that had been said.
Dean groaned as he forced himself to his feet. "Enough! I don't know which angel you are, but I damn well know that you're not Alastair and I know that none of this is real. So get the Hell outta my head!"
With that, he concentrated and forced the image of the tortured and bloody Sam to disappear from the room. He tried to make the room itself disappear as well, but a power was fighting against him.
Alastair started to laugh, but it no longer sounded like him. Dean knew exactly which angel he was facing off against before the image of the demon morphed into the correct form. Zachariah.
"So, what gave it away?"
He couldn't exactly tell the full truth here without giving away Anderson's secret, but he could give a partial answer. "Alastair would never give partial credit for Sam's capture to the angels. You were practically bragging about killing the guy that was protecting Sam. A real demon would've claimed that his demons had done the full deed. So that got me thinking. I'd kind thought all along that my 'escape' was too easy. Then you went and were a dumbass and talked about angels being here. So I thought about it and figured that we were in my head and you were an angel. Not rocket science, douche-bag."
Zachariah's face darkened. "You can spew all the insults you want, but we will pull the answers we want from you."
"By resorting to lame mind games? Not likely."
"You didn't get a good look at your face when you thought your brother was being taken apart piece by piece. And don't think that we can't make that a reality as well."
Dean growled. "If you could, you would've. And if you do, you're dead."
Zachariah gave him a superior look. "You can't touch us. But we… we will take you apart. Like the insect you really are. The demon will rip your body apart during your waking hour and I will dissect your mind when you fall unconscious. You will get no rest at all. You will break, Dean Winchester. It is just a matter of time."
Author's Note Part Two: Well... that doesn't sound good... And that is why demons and angels should never work together for evil purposes! Anyway, please take a moment to leave a review. Thanks so much!