Characters: Sam and Dean (Gen)
Summary: Death has a design for everyone.
Notes: Slightly future-fic. An early birthday present for fiddleyoumust, who loves angsty things and both slash and Gen. This story comes from the 60_minute_fics prompt for the horror movie quote that matches the summary.
Even the places that seem harmless sometimes are not. A Hunter, above all else, should not forget vigilance. It is survival in a supernatural world.
A haunted office building in a shiny block of Cincinnati is unexpected. Ghosts are rarely attracted to new places. There is more richness in the history of the past.
Sam and Dean investigate the twelfth-floor conference room after midnight. Hiding in plain sight as janitors, they give thanks for the old-fashioned locks on the doors. Keycard locks do not respond to pick-sets or spells. And the heating vent isn’t guaranteed to give the access they need.
They pull on gloves, moving slowly around the room. Bloodstains on the floor, at fixed places at the head and foot of the table. There is gore up high on the walls. A scorch mark on the table indicates the entranceway or exit for something strong.
“Anything?” Sam asks.
“The meter’s picking up the table, but nothing else so far unless—wait.” Dean tracks the area slowly and follows the sounds under the table, to a pyramid prism on the carpet below.
Sam ducks his head down. “What is that?”
“Some kind of crystal. A channeller?” Dean leans forward, grabs the rock and—
Sam’s voice fades out through the static inside Dean’s head. Everything swims red and orange behind Dean’s eyes, the room itself lost in the haze of This.
Dean has moved outside of Now, suspended here on an unreachable plane in a between-worlds existence.
It takes him a moment to realize he’s not alone. It takes much less time for him to become scared.
Growling forms in the air, taking shape into words full of malice and mystery.
“We’ve been expecting you for some time.” The creature steps in front of Dean’s vision, its face a nightmare of red eyes and dead-gray flesh. It has no mouth, and yet it speaks. Dean’s thoughts fill with the slippery-wet moisture of its words.
“It will be lonely for him once you’re gone,” it muses. “But that’s expected-- Death has a design for everyone." Dean feels the cold brush of the creature’s claw along his cheek. Whether fire or ice he does not know, but it reaches into him and burns. More words form underneath his flesh, rise within him as the being continues on. "Your death will drive him inward along the fragile edge of sanity. One day his visions will break him. He’ll become a ghost inside his own head, and the only thing he’ll remember is your name… and that you do not come to save him.”
Sam will go on without me, Dean thinks. He’ll go back to school and finally become what he always wanted.
“Not so,” the being tells him. “His visions will never leave him now. They will haunt him with possibilities, and he will know he might have prevented the things he sees.”
“Sam is strong,” Dean says. “He’ll make it.”
“He will not. Once you are gone, he'll be left with his grief and his torment. He will never know silence or peace again. And one day, he’ll give up and stop trying to find it.” The creature steps in closer, enough that Dean can smell sulfur and rotten blood. “You,” the creature says, “are already a pawn in the plan to take the Seer that threatens our future.”
It crooks its finger slowly at Dean, and Dean’s throat becomes tighter and tighter until he’s gasping for breath. “I believe blood will leave the most significant impression,” it says smoothly. Dean gurgles on the sudden overflow across his lungs. He is drowning in this unearthly final destination, with no way back and no defense. Pain pierces his heart slowly. It might be the transition into death, or the image of Sam’s devastation that comes to him now so vividly.
He cannot move, suspended here in the fiery control of the creature’s will now. His skin burns with the oncoming destruction. A half-formed thought of apology lies paralyzed on the tip of his tongue.
“--et Spiritus Sancti, Amen!”
Every bone in Dean’s body becomes liquid as he slumps to the floor. “Dean!” Sam’s voice is low and insistent. Dean tries to sit up, but his body hardly stirs.
Sam must have seen the movement anyway, for Dean feels himself being hauled up to rest against Sam’s chest. “Come back, Dean. Come back.” Sam shakes him gently, letting Dean’s head loll against his neck. It is moments before the darkness loosens its hold, before Dean can force his eyes open to the shadowed space under the table here with Sam. Dean’s face is wet-- sticky. Something trickles down his neck.
“Wha—“ Dean starts. Words are harder—his tongue is thick and swollen, and the sense memory for shaping sounds lies on the other side of wherever he was before.
“Shhhh,” Sam says. “It’s all right. You’re going to be fine.”
“I’m fine too,” Sam reassures him. “I never touched the pyramid—it had a hold on you as soon as you picked it up.”
Dean doesn’t remember that part. He remembers being in the Impala earlier and the last thing Sam just said… He remembers in barely suppressed panic what nearly happened moments ago. His dying would have destroyed Sam-- Dean would have been a vehicle to break his brother’s mind.
It might still happen—he hasn’t felt this bad since being electrocuted and waking up returned from the dead.
Dean turns to say this, but Sam’s not looking. He’s staring over at the rug, where the smell of something evil rises up from an area newly burned and already turned to black.
“I destroyed the gateway,” Sam murmurs. “That’s what it was—these people called their own deaths up out of Hell.”
Dean shivers, and Sam’s arms tighten around him. Things come up into this world and bring their destruction with them. But neither Dean nor Sam has ever gone to meet them in the darkness from which there is no return.
Dean’s tired, so very tired. He just wants to slip into oblivion, but he has to warn Sam first.
“It… it…,” Dean starts.
“It’s over. I brought you back, and they’re not taking you again,” Sam says fiercely.
If only I could speak. Ideas are trapped in Dean’s head, but they stumble and snarl and they cannot make it out. This is important, but he can’t speak, can't make Sam understand it. Dean bites his own tongue in sheer frustration, revenge for this thing he so desperately needs to say. It whispers in his head as he gives in to the sleep that pulls him down.
It wasn’t me they wanted, Sam.
And what that means is that it’s far from over yet.
------- fin ------