Disclaimer: I own nothing and no one.
Pairing: None. Mild suggestive one-sided Sam/Ruby
Summary: Gen. Sam brings his brother back. But his brother is not the man he once was. Set post-ep 316. Pls see warnings before you read. Sam!whumping ahead.
Rating: Hard R
Warnings: One BDSM scene, graphic violence, language.
Author Notes: Watch out for non-linear time narration and changing POVs. This is clearly way off canon. Just my way to deal with the S3 finale which I thought was pretty upsetting. Lyrics are from “Blood brothers” by Papa Roach. Well, the Linkin Park version really ;)
It's in our nature to kill ourselves
It's in our nature to kill each other
It's in our nature to kill, kill, kill
August 23rd, 2008
The dungeon is dark and decked in shades of metal and black, clichéd as ever. Flashes of blue laser lights keep flickering back and forth and every which way. There’s Darkwave music blaring on Level One and obviously it’s the floor that’s more crowded, more suited to popular, tamer needs of the not so deranged minds.
Sam leaves the pomp and fake-show behind, and descends the spiral staircase into the bowels of… not hell, no, far from it, just Level Three. This is where he knows he’ll find what he’s looking for.
Some places charge, others pay. He should know, has probably seen enough in the last three months or so. This one does neither. It’s a simple arrangement of give and take – he asks for punishment, and in return, lets other paying spectators witness his painful absolution. Short-lived as it may be.
They strip him of his jacket, shirt and under-shirt, tie him face down to a cross that is inclined at a sixty-degree angle and suspended three feet up in the air. His pale white back still lined with scars and not yet healed wounds from last week, is in stark display, more so in the harsh glares of spotlights hanging from the scaffolding above. The audience sits in front and behind, left and right, all around him really, eager to catch a wide-angled panoramic view of the sick spectacle that’s about to begin.
Sam closes his eyes, hangs his head low, long mess of hair curtaining his too-thin face from lascivious, hungry eyes, not that he seems to care. This is his purging ground, his way to release his guilt. And find just enough strength (and peace) to last another seven or ten days, before the weight of his conscience bears down and crushes his lungs again.
This is where he runs to, wheezing, panting, all the way to his Russian hell-master, begging for another round. Another chance to know something other than hatred and disgust for himself, and more than just a cerebral awareness of his big brother’s pain.
Yet another chance to physically feel some of what his brother went through, a mere one-hundredth perhaps, but it’s something. Anything, just to feel connected somehow with his long-lost brother. His surrogate father.
I know he misses me.
But I’m not who he misses anymore.
It’s a broad, nasty looking leather whip, and it’s going to hurt like… hell? Maybe. But he’s made his choice and has to live (or die) with it. Just like I did.
The first crack takes him aback, but he’s ready for all others that follow. And they fall with all the ferocity that a cautious practitioner playing a game of pretense would allow. See in here, it’s not the force behind each lash that matters; it’s more about quantity rather than quality. The longer he holds out, the worse would be the agony. And I’ve seen him hold out long enough, respectably long I’d say, before he gives in and screams out his safeword.
Safewords, yeah. See that’s just it. I don’t care how many lashings and mock-bdsm goth scenes my floundering brother gets himself into. Amuses me to no end that he tries so hard, but Sam knows he’ll never be able to simulate true hell.
Hell don’t have no safewords, baby bro.
I light up and bide my time leaning against the farthest wall in the back, shielded by the darkest shadows. Watch as Sam hangs there, tied, spread-eagled, gaunt and vulnerable. Taking it, lash after lash. The skin on his back starts to break, gashes spewing blood, tearing open moments after the whip leaves the surface and just moments before it lands again.
Several minutes later, the leather is slick with his juices and the room is stunned into silence, except for his muffled gasps of course. The whip catches the back of his arms now and then, and bet it stings but he manages to hold it in.
Soon enough, a steady stream of tears will flow, and he’ll close his eyes and think of me. Imagine me screaming his name, maybe, not sure if I did that. Guess I just forgot who he was after awhile. And then when he can’t take it anymore, which should be any second now, he’ll scream, for the one person he thinks can end his misery.
That’s his safeword, least it was the last three times I saw him do this. The Russian will assume it’s a past lover or crush or something corny like that. If only he knew.
Almost there now. I stub the cigarette and light another one. And just as I start to look up from the dying flame of my lighter, I realize the mistake I’ve made.
He’s looking up straight at me, his face frozen in absolute horror because he can’t believe what, who he just saw. Not sure why, but I stay still in the dark, wishing he’d chalk it up to his hyperactive imagination or a pain-induced hallucination.
The Russian runs out of bare skin to peel off his back, so he moves downwards to his clothed butt and thighs. And still Sam bites his tongue, tears streaming down his face as he continues to look at me. A dark figure he can barely make out in the distance but he’s seen my face. He knows I’m here.
The safeword never comes.
The flogger takes a break, whispers in Sam’s ear, obviously suggesting maybe they should halt. He shakes his head.
The Russian shrugs, and carries on. And not once does Sam look away from me after that.
What does he fucking expect? That I’d be his white knight in shining armor, and come rescue him from the evil Dom guy? That maybe watching him writhe and hurt in excruciating agony would stir up something emotional, something human inside of me?
The lashes now decorate his skinny legs, his jeans are in tatters and he’s not about to sit period, forget comfortably, for at least a week. Why the fuck won’t he stop staring?
I stub my smoke at last. Show’s over, far as I’m concerned. The whip is still falling when I leave and the resounding echoes follow me up the stairs to Level One where it finally drowns in the muzak of The Tenth Stage. I dig my hands in my dead father’s jacket pockets and step out of the club into the rain.
Make no mistake, that’s all it is, the water on my cheeks. Nothing but rain.
July 19th, 2008
He wakes up with a jolt.
Green marble eyes dead one moment, rapidly welling with heat and panic and life in another. He gasps, his first breath in two months, three days and nine hours. And it’s the most beautiful sound in all of existence.
“Dean…” I rasp, too scared to reach out and touch him, too afraid to not.
His body is just as I remember it - whole, not a blemish, not a scar, not even from when the hellhounds had ripped him apart limb from limb. His spiked hair’s perfect, glossy even, and that gets me suspicious.
He turns to look at me then. Sits up, straight and robotic like Schwarzenegger in T2 and all he’s missing are the shades. Yeah, shades would be good, they’d hide the inferno in his eyes that brands me deep to the bone, to the soul, with well-deserved marks of failure.
It’s a growl, deep and cold, terrifying, I wonder if this is what the hellhounds sounded like. My hand trembles over his corporeal chest, ghosting this way and that until I feel the heart beneath. It’s not beating. It’s thundering away furiously, like a madman on the run for his life, still. At least it’s not silent, not anymore.
“What did you do?”
Yeah, I was afraid that would come up. A hand shoots out, and it’s scorching hot, jacket sleeve slightly smoking even, which would be understandable. I’ve been strangled and choked so many times, it doesn't really come as a surprise anymore. But this is Dean (maybe). And his grip is unbreakable.
“WHAT DID YOU DO?”
I’d reply if I could speak, if I could breathe. As it is, white spots start to dance before my eyes, and I’ve no strength or inclination left to fight. This should be a fun story to tell someday: hunter killed by two months dead, recently resurrected big brother, not two minutes after resurrection.
I hear Bobby screaming somewhere, far, far away. Ellen’s there too, or is she? All I see is Dean’s cold-blooded face, contorted in a fury so fierce, so limitless, so irrevocably hellish…
It’s Dean alright. Think I smile, before I surrender. The blackout’s a blessed relief.
July 26th, 2008
The roadhouse looks same as before, almost. Except there’s no Ash passed out on the pool table, no Jo busing the tables and bickering with her mother. They all turn to look at me when I walk in. The silence is entertaining. For now.
“Scotch on the rocks.”
She turns toward me and freezes in shock.
“I… I’m not… she’s not in… I mean…”
I stare at her, bored already. “I know. You’re Katherine.”
Ruby’s gone. Left her meat-suit alive, surprisingly. Ellen gave her the bartender’s job ‘cause apparently she has nowhere else to go.
“Scotch on the rocks, please.”
Have to repeat myself a lot these days. Seems the world just got a whole lot dumber while I was gone. I glare back and they all turn away, find something else to gawk at.
I’m rudely interrupted during my fourth scotch and third cigarette. “Where’s Sam?”
The girl wouldn’t dare. Gotta be Ellen.
“I’m not his babysitter.”
She stares me down. It’s a contest she’s itching to win but I’m least interested in. Throw some money on the counter, get up and turn to leave.
“So this is what hell does to a man, huh? Slowly turns him into a demon?”
I smirk, and keep walking. Don’t bother giving the self-righteous bitch a piece of my mind ‘cause what’s the point? She’ll never get it. She’ll never understand how it starts with stripping your identity away, your very sense of self sizzling away to nothing like blood drops splattered on molten ember. How it slowly eats through you bit by bit until you know nothing but pain. Until you forget what it felt like to be human, and you can’t remember the person you used to be, your name, your purpose, your loved ones. How could she possibly know?
Not unless she goes to hell herself. That oughtta be fun.
Looks like I wasn’t the only one who saw myself as nothing but the little fucker’s keeper. And now they’re all wondering, what am I supposed to be without him?
“Well. You’re about to find out.”
I get into the Impala and start driving, destination nowhere.
They made one hell of a mistake, letting me in. They molded and hardened me the only way they knew how, by making me one of them. It’s like being trained by the enemy inside their own fucking camp, fueling my will to survive with all the fury and rabid power that stokes the timeless fires of hell itself.
Too bad the little shit pulled me out when he did. I was just starting to have some fun.
At least he kept my wheels in shape. Should write him a letter of thanks or something. That’d be fair, I think.
August 2nd, 2008
Our preparation is impeccable. The trap is set, the incantations memorized, no way the demon’s getting away this time. What we didn’t see coming, although we should have, is another man, another hunter stealing the game away from right under our noses.
He’s wiping his knife on the corpse’s denim shirt when we get there. I stop short, wheezing for air and trying my best not to let it show.
He smirks without even looking up. “You’re late. Elvis has left the building, so to speak.”
The man’s face is ruptured in two, like something tried to force its way out through the mouth but couldn’t escape fast enough, so…
“What did you do?” Bobby is the one brave enough (horrified enough) to ask.
“Just a little trick I picked up back in the pit.”
“But, like this? Why?”
His nostrils flare, doesn’t see the need to explain himself to us, of course. But responds nevertheless.
“Let’s just say, Xaphon and I had some unfinished business to take care of. I’ll spare your delicate senses the funner details.”
He starts to leave, and I want to throw up. He hasn’t even looked at me once.
“Dean, stop. We could use your help, you know.”
I close my eyes, don’t need to see Bobby’s plea falling on deaf ears, again. I’m surprised he even lingers as long as he does.
“Help with what? Lilith? Oh yeah, I forgot.”
He turns to me then, my big brother. My surrogate father.
The man who can’t stand the sight of me anymore.
“The demon that this moronic asshole made a hundred times stronger by trading his psychic powers in to? Yeah, good luck with that!”
He’s approaching me now, and I’m frozen in my spot. It’s the closest he’s ever come to me after that first night three weeks ago.
“I’m done, Sammy.” He hisses, the name spat with such venom, burns like hot lava poured down my ears. Then again, how would I know what that feels like? Dean, on the other hand, might…
“I’m done sacrificing myself, my life for you. Over. And over. And over again. And for what? For that fucking demon Azazael’s filthy blood running through your veins?”
The trembling is worse than ever before. He sees it and he smirks.
“Yeah. I know about your dirty little secret. You’re the reason I’ve lost everything and everyone I’ve ever loved. You’re the reason I’m dead!”
No… no, not dead. I felt your heart, I felt it hum…
“What? You think you got your brother back?”
He bellows, maybe he finds the tears sliding down my cheeks amusing. Specks of gold shimmer in and around his dark green pupils, any brighter and they’d be yellow.
“Sorry to burst your bubble, little bro. But you made a bad deal. Again! Didn’t you fucking learn anything?”
That’s not true. It can’t be. I shake my head in vigorous denial just as my vision starts to blur. And he’s just laughing some more.
When Dean leaves, the laughter is all that remains, ringing in my ears and in my head and no matter how loud Bobby yells at me to get in his truck, it doesn’t stop. So I start running instead, and I keep on running, carrying the cross for all my sins all the way to the only place that will have them. My last haven for solace.
Short-lived as it may be.
August 13th, 2008
It’s three AM and there are still five hunters in the house. That’s not including Ellen and Bobby, and it’s somewhat reassuring. The new Harvelle roadhouse is the only place where I feel safe anymore.
I break open a new bottle of Daniels and refill the two shot glasses, turning away quickly to clean up.
I freeze. Oh God. They’re going to ask me about her again.
“Did you know how old Ruby was?”
A cold shiver runs down my spine, but I promised I would help. Keep mopping the spilt spritzer off my shelf, just can’t face Ellen right now. “About six hundred years. I think.”
I can feel their gazes burning into the back of my head.
Ellen asks again. “She held on to her humanity, least most of it, for that long?”
I close my eyes and shudder again, can still hear the demon’s garbly voice whispering inside my head.
Don’t worry. I’ll keep you safe.
It’s okay, I know it hurts. I’ll make it go away, promise.
I’ll let you live, soon as I’m done, I’ll let you go.
Being comforted by a demon that’s possessing you? Yeah, not that comforting, trust me.
“I wonder what she sold her soul for.”
Again, I have the answer to Bobby’s question. When a demon possesses a human, not only can they read the human’s mind, sometimes the transference works both ways. The horrors of a demonic consciousness are often enough to kill the person long before any physical trauma can.
“The church took her daughters, all three of them. They were convicted of heresy and pagan witchcraft and were to be burned at the stake. The youngest one was twelve.”
It’s the longest monologue I’ve spoken in, oh, a year now, I think. Interestingly, and not sure if anyone else has noticed this, Sam hasn’t spoken a word since he brought his brother back either. All he ever says is various stuttering versions of “Dean”.
Bobby sighs behind me. “We can’t assume anything about what Dean went through, Ellen. Ruby was a mere mortal, Dean on the other hand, he was a hunter.”
Ellen sighs. I hear her shot glass being put down and turn to fill it up before she needs to ask. She smiles at me, and it’s an expression rife with such sadness, I have to turn away again.
It’s the talk of the town, metaphorically speaking. Hunters know it. Demons do too. Sam Winchester’s botched up deal with Lilith, the Princess of Hell – how he traded in the powers that he received from Azazael, in exchange of bringing his brother back from the dead.
Only to have said brother turn on him, blame him for time spent suffering the eternal torments of hell and being responsible for the death of their parents. The Winchester fall-out has changed the game completely. Lilith has nothing to fear from a weakened Sam anymore (whom she nearly bled to death as part of the transfer ritual), and apparently neither from Dean who, it’s rumored, is halfway over on her side anyway.
Dean’s become the thing he despised the most. And Sam’s lost the last of his family. Again.
My thoughts are broken into by the conversation picking up behind me.
“Did Sam run away again? To that…?”
They’re quiet, for way too long. Ellen must have read the answer in Bobby’s eyes. I swallow the lump in my throat and carry on cleaning with double the vigor, like that’s the thing that could save the man I… save Sam. He’ll do what he thinks he needs to do. And there’s nothing we… they, Ellen or Bobby, could say or do to stop him.
Maybe Dean could…? No. That door closed long ago back in New Harmony, Indiana. Nothing left there but disappointment.
Watch your back because the next man is comin'
And you don’t know if the next man is dumbin'
Survival of the fittest what it is,
I got your back, you got my back and that's the biz
Blood is rushing through my veins
I got the power, channel the energy
And with my strength I will devour
Sickening thought is running through my head
That's when I realize I'm glad I'm not dead.
August 24th, 2008
I wake up to a world of pain.
Every morning, I open my eyes and the first thing I do is wish myself dead. The second thing I do is remind myself that I don’t deserve death.
I deserve this. This never-ending agony of being alive, this darkness that never dies. The sole surviving Winchester, standing alone beside the family grave plot. Bad investment at that, seeing as the plot happens to be empty. No mom ‘cause nothing was left of her to bury, no dad ‘cause he was cremated, and Dean…
I take in my surroundings then, and no, I’m no longer at the dungeon. The windows are open for one and it’s bright out, and the walls are all wrong too, pastel with paisley in yellow and blue. And a queen bed with matching duvet two feet away.
It’s a motel room.
With a suffocatingly strong stench of antiseptic pervading the air.
The pain is next to make itself known when I try to move, only to realize I can’t. My head feels heavy like I’ve been doused with a zillion drugs, I lie face down on a second bed on top of the covers and I’m naked. Which is just as well, anything touching my back right now would hurt like… hell? Maybe. Probably not.
My limbs are spread (again) and frozen in place, paralyzed with a thousand aches and lactic acid buildup. It’s like the weight of a thousand gallons of freezing water that prickles and keeps me pinned to the surface beneath. The left side of my face, the one I’m lying on right now, is completely numb and the corner of my mouth rests in a pool of my own slobber.
Hurts. Pain. Fire. Ice. Agony. Everything hurts. And it’s still not enough.
“It will never be enough.”
That cold, hard cadence… Dean. I close my eyes, mind rattled by both hope and disbelief. It can’t be…
The voice floats over to me from behind my head, but I’m too tired (and scared) to turn. A chair squeaks, and footsteps follow, heavy on worn-out carpet until he’s in front of me at last. Kneeling down by my side until we see eye to eye.
He’s the most vivid hallucination I’ve ever had.
“I can read minds, you know.”
I would have jumped in shock, if I could. He smirks. There’s a washcloth in his hand, and slowly, carefully, he’s bringing it towards my face.
“You passed out. The club denied all responsibility, you signing blank papers now? This what they teach you at Stanford Law?”
How did he…? Okay, maybe he can read minds, remnants from his stint in the afterlife, I presume.
He wipes the drool off my lips, picks my head up (gently) and repositions the pillow under me so the wet patch is gone. I’m still staring at him like I’m seeing things, which in all probability, I am.
He exhales, exasperated, runs a hand through his spikes and gets up. Backs up until he is sitting on the other bed and we stare at each other in utter silence. The silence is never quiet with Dean. Not with the one I knew, not with this one sitting across me.
“Easier to blame yourself than nothin’ at all, huh?”
Dean Winchester, of all people, should know.
“Yeah, I know. But I made a choice of my own free will, and so did John, I mean, Dad. You don’t have to blame yourself for our decisions.”
I wince and strive not to look away. That’s not what he said before. He said I was the reason, the only reason…
“I didn’t mean it. None of it.”
He speaks in an almost surprised, matter-of-fact way, like he isn’t really saying it to convince me. He’s saying it as if he’s just realizing it himself.
“With every passing day…” he starts then stops. He isn’t looking at me anymore, and it’s a short relief. It’s also something I want gone, now.
“It’s fading away. Little by little. I have to write stuff down. The memories, from… wherever I was, the phantom pains, it’s all goin’ away.”
Think I start to wheeze, my hands twitching uselessly by my sides. What about before, I want to ask. Does this mean he’s forgotten us too? Me? His Sam?
He looks up at me then, the green of his eyes seems clear and bright, untainted with the angry gold I saw before. “The memories from before, they’re coming back.”
My vision blurs, guess I’m crying again. He lets me be, for a little while. Watching me as I watch him.
“But it changes nothing.”
What? No. But he just said…
He stands up then. Puts his hands in his jeans pockets. “You knew there’d be consequences. There always are. But I won’t be your weak spot again, Sammy.”
“And I won’t let you be mine.”
He turns away, pulls a white sheet off the other bed and walks toward me. My wheezing is worse than before, and the words still refuse to cooperate. He leans over me, the ever-familiar scent of his cologne overriding the antiseptic temporarily.
“This will sting a little.”
Liar, it stings a lot, as he drapes the sheet over my bare body. I close my eyes, and struggle to stem the tears. A meek attempt to show my big brother I am not all that weak, I can be strong too. Please don’t leave. Together we can both be strong…
For a second there, I even believe it myself.
A hand softly strokes the back of my head, before it disappears completely.
“I called Bobby, he should be here in twenty.”
I don’t ask him how he found me in the dungeon, nor do I need to know how long he’s been following me down there. What can he say - Dean’s my big brother. He’s supposed to be watching me.
He snorts. “Well, that’s progress.”
I have no idea what he’s talking about. I just don’t want him to walk away again. Crane my throbbing neck as far as it can go but he won’t meet my eyes, not anymore. Picks up his (Dad’s) jacket and starts to leave.
Twice in thirty-five days and thirty-six nights, I found and lost my brother twice. He reaches the door and pauses, turns to me one last time. And I wait.
The two words hang in the air, unchallenged, between us. Then the door slides shut behind him with a soft click.
It was a dream and then it hit me, reality struck
And now my life is all shifty and it all moves fast
Close to buck 50 and we all stand strong
In respect to the family, in times of our insanity
And through the words of profanity
I describe our dysfunctional family.
Blood brothers keep it real to the end,
Deeper than thoughts that you think, not a trend.
It's in our nature to destroy ourselves
It's in our nature to kill ourselves
It's in our nature to kill each other
It's in our nature to kill, kill, kill
*** END ***
A/N: Heh yeah, apparently torturing Sam is my way of making it better *shakes head*. I'm a mess.
The Tenth Stage is a Darkwave music band. Xaphon is a second-order demon. Katherine's story and Ruby's story are completely made up and not canon.