Absorption

Fandom: Supernatural

Category/Rated: Gen-ish, PG-13

Year/Length: 2007/ ~3,959 words

Pairing: YED, Meg, Dean, Sam

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, only having fun.

Warning: Crack. Demon crack. Language, slight violence.

Summary: Of course, if he had been more familiar with the chaos that the human body could wrack on a creature's psyche, he would have stayed out of the stinking flesh, John Winchester be damned. That shape brought with it certain expectations, certain desires and drives, a certain prerogative that the arms and legs, stomach and head, demand you follow. You absorb it, whether you want to or not.

Series:

Author's Notes: Written for the Everyday Life fic prompt challenge. So, I figure that the YED must have just possessed the same guy from the beginning to end of S2, because if he let the guy go at some point surely he would have ran to a church or something and constantly submerged himself in holy water. That's like…a year of time to kill. The YED was a busy boy, learning to be human.

Beta: marysue007! See, this is the kind of crap she has to put up with from me.

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The yellow-eyed demon, and he has a name that he really would prefer be used if only human vocal cords were capable of forming the sounds, has never possessed a human body for any real length of time before. There's never been a need to, before, when he could construct a temporary body of his own for whatever brief forays into corporal world he found necessary. There's just something inherently…icky…about the human body that makes him avoid it like the plague.

His son and his daughter seemed fond of their meat-sack bodies, and it worried him at first. It couldn't be natural to spend that much time inside all that gooey, bacteria infested, cluster-fuck of water, minerals and dirt. But it made them happy, and they were his children, and he hadn't really been around very much when they were growing up, so…

It's not possible for demon's to be guilty, and so it's not guilt that motivates him to let his children have their soft, fleshy bodies. It's all part of his Plan. His Super Secret Plan that he's been planning for millennia. Oh, those humans won't know what's hit them once he's done with them. Won't be strutting around with their opposable thumbs and digestive system then.

But that's not the point.

The point is, that he only has limited experience possessing a human body when he forces his way into the janitor of the hospital where John Winchester has summoned him. It takes him a second to get acclimated to the utter darkness that comes with the body, for a half-second he considers that the human might be blind, before realizing he has to open his eyes.

In any case, it's strange, to be curled up in a construct of flesh and bone. To have a shape, a form that cannot be changed on his own whim. He feels trapped within the bounds of the flesh, feels like he's been molded into a shape unfamiliar and unnatural.

Of course, if he had been more familiar with the chaos that the human body could wrack on a creature's psyche, he would have stayed out of the stinking flesh, John Winchester be damned. That shape brought with it certain expectations, certain desires and drives, a certain prerogative that the arms and legs, stomach and head, demand you follow. You absorb it, whether you want to or not.

But he doesn't know that. Yet.

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1. Provide For Self.

He is on his way out of the hospital, unsure where to dump the body he's walking around in, when someone grabs his arm and yells, "Stan!" up into his face. The person is a little human male, balding with a bad comb over and watery blue eyes and a receding chin. The demon looks down at the creature, too surprised to be immediately angry.

The demon hazards, "Yes?"

The little male beams, squeezes the demon's arm briefly, friendly, "Didn't you hear me calling you, man? I can't hardly catch you when you take off like that, man, your legs are twice as long as mine." The little man is wearing the same uniform as the demon's hijacked body, and smells faintly of disinfectant and Lysol.

The demon shifts, wondering what this strange little person wants with him, says, "Sorry?" Wonders why he doesn't just knock this pathetic creature onto its ass and leave.

"You're so funny, Stan," the man laughs, as though to prove it, and continues, "Look, I know I keep asking you to switch shifts, but would it be possible at all for you to come in for me tomorrow? I'll work your Saturday for you, you know, trade it off. It's just my mom is real sick again and the doctor's don't-"

The demon's patience snaps, he wonders why he bothered keeping it so long, he shrugs the other man off. Lies, "No problem, what time does your shift start tomorrow?"

"You're a life-saver, man, thank you so much. Five sharp, same as yours," and then the balding man is gone, waving enthusiastically over his shoulder as he pushes out into the parking lot. The demon shakes its head, a completely foreign gesture, Wonders why he did it.

He hopes the little bald man loses his job over not having his shift covered tomorrow, because the demon will be out of this body and long gone by then. Foolish humans, and their futile, pointless lives. They are like ants under the mercy of his inner child with a magnifying glass.

But he doesn't dump the body, though he doesn't know why. And at four-fifty the next day he finds himself trudging up the steps to the hospital, feeling oddly proud of himself and also utterly, utterly confused.

He's tired after a long day of work, and doesn't understand the warm feeling in his chest, or the way he suddenly desires nothing more than to find a big, soft chair and fall asleep while watching men in brightly colored shorts chase a ball around a big grass field. But that's what the body wants, and he doesn't feel like forcing it to lie flat on its back with its arms crossed over its chest to sleep tonight.

It turns out Stan has an apartment downtown, a fact the demon discovers from dredging through his host's memories. It's sparsely furnished, the only things in the fridge are Chinese leftovers and some alcoholic beverages in tin cans.

Oddly, the body is pleased with this, and the demon wonders why it does not crave the vitamins and nutrients that its system requires.

It doesn't matter, the demon isn't planning on keeping this body that long. He lets himself sink into the big chair in Stan's two-room apartment with the Chinese and the Coors. He falls asleep watching Jay Leno's huge chin bob up and down hypnotically.

In the morning, though he does not understand why, he goes back to work.

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2. Achieve Socialization with Others.

On his third day of work, while he sits on the front steps for his lunch hour, eating something that alleges to be spaghetti from the cafeteria, the balding man returns and sits beside him. He says, "Hey, Stan, what's up?" and proffers an open pack of cigarettes in the demon's direction.

The demon stares at the white cylinders for a long moment, and then thinks, what the hell? He's not going to be keeping this body that long anyway. He plucks one of them out, holds it awkwardly between two fingers while the balding man flicks out a lighter and lights the cigarette.

He coughs on the first drag, and the little man laughs again, slaps him on the back. The demon scowls. Says, "Your mother. Still sick?"

"Yeah, man, it's crazy. They think she might have some kinda weird cancer, like a medical abnormality or something, man. They're running all these tests and got her on all these experimental drugs and I'm worried she's gonna, like, grow a third eye or an arm out of her ass and-"

The demon stops listening, bobs his head and what seem to be appropriate junctures in the other man's speech. The spaghetti really isn't that bad, he doesn't see what everyone else on shift is complaining about. It's noodles in tomato sauce. To his knowledge that is the definition of spaghetti, he doesn't see a problem, although he is looking forward to the last of the Chinese take out waiting for him at the apartment.

The balding man is saying, "-going out tonight, you wanna come?" This is not head-bobbing territory. The demon blinks, stuffs a big bite of noodles into his mouth and shrugs in a gesture that he leaves the little man to interpret anyway he wishes. Apparently, he takes it as agreement. "Great! We're all meeting at Milo's Pub at seven. See you there."

And then he's gone, a blur of five-foot tall motion. The demon nods at his back before rolling his eyes. There is no way he's going anywhere with that greasy, malformed excuse for a human being. No way.

At seven he shows up at Milo's Pub, after asking around for hours to find the bar's goddamn location. The balding man spots him and waves him over to the bar, slaps him on the back and orders a round of whiskey for everyone.

The demon discovers that he much prefers Jim Beam to Jack Daniels and that he prefers both to Coors. He also discovers that the little man's name is Ralph, and that their other co-workers, gathered around them and dispersing through the bar, are Eleanor, Murphy, and Brock. He doesn't care.

Sometime around ten his body decides that it doesn't particularly like the whiskey as much as he does, and he throws up all over Ralph, who laughs uncontrollably over it until his face turns nearly fluorescent red. They get thrown out of the bar for some reason that the demon can't really fathom past the blur of alcohol, and sway, clinging to each other, across the parking lot.

Ralph says, as the demon shoves him into a cab, "You're a good friend, Stan. Really." The demon nods, and throws up all over Ralph's shoes while the cab driver curses him to the seventh circle of hell. The demon's been there. It's not nearly as impressive as one would think.

He makes it back to his apartment, crawls into his chair, and watches Conan O'Brien prance around the stage until sleep drags him down. He has nightmares about giant red hair swallowing him alive, and wakes with a start, a dry mouth, and a pounding headache.

It is the first time he has ever dreamed.

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3. Find a Mate.

Before he realizes it he's been working at the hospital for three weeks, unsure why he lingers, checking in daily with his underlings who keep him appraised of the truly important happenings on the world scene. In that time he has come to know the delivery boy for the Chinese restaurant by name, Jim, and most of his fellow janitorial staff.

The doctors and nurses remain out of his sphere of interest until a dark haired nurse slips while hurrying across a floor he just moped. The body reaches out and steadies her without waiting for any input from him, an arm slung around her hips, a hand wrapped around her arm, holding her up.

She stares up at him, all huge dark eyes and soft dark curls pulled back into a braid at the nape of her neck. She's tan and fresh faced, and her breath smells like some fizzy diet soda. She is also very, very warm everywhere he is touching her, and he is suddenly aware that he would very much like to touch her much more.

She smiles up at him, flashing her teeth and the tip of her pink tongue, says, "Hey, thanks. A fall would have really topped off my shitty day."

The body smiles back, and he releases her, dragging his fingers across her lower back as he goes, "Well, we couldn't have that, could we? After all, there's still a dozen hours left in the day. Wouldn't want to top it off now."

Her laughter is soft, sweet, easy. She says, "You're funny."

"So I've been told." He lingers in her space, smelling her faint lemon-perfume. Around them the hustle of the hospital continues on unabated. Screaming patients and harassed doctors, rushing around in a kind of choreographed insanity.

She doesn't move away from him, though, "My name's Carmen."

And he replies automatically with the first name that pops into his head. It is not his true name, nor even the abbreviation that he uses sometimes when communing with his human servants. He can barely believe himself. "Stan," he smiles, "How wonderful to meet you, Carmen."

He takes her hand, tiny, and presses his lips to her knuckles. Her cheeks tinge red, and he feels her fingers in his hand twitch. She says, "What, um, what time is your shift over?"

It's natural to lean a little closer to her, till her eyes go huge and wide, the flush in her cheeks sliding down her neck, "Two. And would you perhaps be interested in grabbing a drink with me along for company at some point this evening?"

"Yes!" she blinks, cuts her eyes to the ground and says in a calmer voice. "Yes. I'd like that. Look, I get off at four, do you want to-"

He kisses her knuckles again, interrupts, "I'll meet you out front at four." This time he doesn't even bother trying to convince himself that he won't be there. Besides, she's a pretty little thing, and he's quite looking forward to seeing her again. He watches her walk away, the sway of her hips, feels himself grinning.

He takes her to Milo's, and she drinks him under the table. By the end of the night she's leaning heavily against him, her hair loose from its tight braid, free and wild around her face. She's got a hand on his stomach, bracing herself as she clumsily raises a shot glass to her lips and slams it back. He watches her with admiration, both at her alcohol tolerance and the way she licks her full lips when she drops the glass onto the bar top.

He finds himself torn between hoping she decides to slide her hand lower and hoping she doesn't.

In the end, he walks her to her rundown apartment a few blocks from his, and together they lean against her door for a long moment. She fists a hand in his shirt, pulls herself up against him, breath whisky sharp and warm against his lips. She whispers, voice low and smooth, "Gonna kiss me, Stan?"

She tastes mostly like liquor and nachos, warm and soft and wet. Her hand is warm around the back of his neck, fingers teasing in his hair, her other flat against his chest. He slides one hand around her waist, drags his fingers up her spine. She groans into his mouth, and he twists, pushes her against the side of the building and slides a knee between her legs.

They kiss till he runs out of breath, and when he pulls back he's got his fingers pressed up against the underside of her bra, his other hand ghosting over the swell of her ass. She's got a leg up almost around his hips, rocking into him, slow and lazy. She says, "You wanna come in?"

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4. Keep Mate Happy.

Mostly after that they end up at his place. She's got hardly any furniture, next to no money, most of it spent on repaying her student loans. Besides, she likes his apartment, uses words like personality and potential to describe it.

She does not like Jim, the Chinese deliveryman, and starts cooking meals almost every night in his heretofore undiscovered kitchen. Neither does she like his nightly phone calls to his business associates, but though she scowls and huffs around throwing things whenever he's on the phone, she never outright says anything.

And Stan just kind of…falls into the habit of living. Of going to work and coming home and eating what Carmen cooks and sleeping with her little body curled up in bed beside him. Sometimes they watch game shows on television, and Carmen seems perversely fond of reality shows. She goes to church every Sunday, sometimes she invites him, sometimes he goes. It's funny to watch the preacher shift uncomfortably and start sweating without realizing what's wrong.

It takes a few months before she starts asking about his family, wondering where they are and what they're doing. He tells her he has a daughter, finally, and then of course Carmen wants to meet her. And so that's why he calls in some serious favors to get his daughter out of hell for the second time, so she can come meet his, his what? Concubine? Whore? Girlfriend sounds more polite.

His daughter shows up with a blond haired, brown-eyed body, so similar to her old body that it's eerie. She walks around his apartment, touching all the things that Carmen's brought. Carmen lingers in the doorway, thrumming with nervous energy and Stan watches the two of them, drinking coffee and wondering if all women are so strange or if it's just his shitty luck.

Carmen ends up cooking spaghetti, and now he understands the difference between the crap they serve in the cafeteria and actual food. They sit around the table, eating spicy pasta, and garlic bread, and drinking wine, which is sometimes better than beer, or whiskey.

He and Meg go out for a walk after dinner, and the whole thing is so normal it feels almost natural. Crazy. She says finally, "What the fuck are you doing?"

He shrugs. He's just living. It's the body's fault, coming with all these conditions, all these things he has to absorb, whether or not he wants to. All these things that just get sucked into him. It's not like it's affecting his command, or the Plan in any way. He says, "Don't fuck with me, girl. I will send you right back if you push me."

She has the sense to look down, flushed, "Thanks for that by the way, Daddy."

"No problem, sweetheart." He reaches out, ruffles her hair.

A week later he finds out that she possessed Sam Winchester, used him to torture his brother, and got herself exorcised all over again. It gives him a tremendous headache, especially since he has no favors left to call in to get her back.

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5. Fulfill Genetic Imperative to Continue Species.

Carmen moves in officially somewhere around his sixth month in the body. Everything he owns starts smiling like her, cinnamon and spices. Even him, even that old jacket of John Winchester's he picked up off that old bastard's body the day he croaked.

The day after she moves in she leaves a little plastic stick thing on the counter in the bathroom and he walks by it three times before she finally sighs in frustration and waves it under his nose. "How many lines to do see here, Stan? Hm? How many lines?"

He stares at the little blue lines looking back at him, says, "Two?"

She nods, serious. Apparently can tell that he's still absolutely clueless as to what this means because she says, "I'm pregnant, Stan. Knocked up. With child. Got a bun in the oven."

It's the body that's thrilled about this, that makes him grab her and spin her around. The fleshy prison that's manipulating his thoughts, changing his wants to its own without his permission. She laughs, hugging his head, and screams up into the ceiling, "We're gonna have a baby!" Over and over again till their upstairs neighbors start pounding on the floor and yelling for them to shut the hell up.

She insists that he go with her to all the doctor's appointments. Stares at little sonogram pictures of a white smudge that is allegedly their child. And he finds himself making all these plans for his child, all these hopes that never came along with his previous children.

He wants to teach the little runt to play catch, to eat spaghetti, to drink whiskey like a pro. Of course, there would also have to be Evil Overlording 101, but that could probably wait till the child was into its preteens.

Carmen gets huge and round with child. It's wonderful.

Six months into the pregnancy he has to go to South Dakota, bigger plans than pregnancy requiring his attention. It's been a long time since he's seen the Winchester boys, and Sam doesn't disappoint. Tall and strong and driven. Determined. He's surprised and disappointed when the dark horse Army boy takes out his forerunner.

In fact, he is pouting about it, contemplating calling Carmen up because sometimes hearing her voice makes the body feel better, when another demon materializes beside him. It's a swirling cloud of metamorphic evil, no mouth, no vocal chords, but he hears it well enough in any case.

THOUGHT YOU'D WANT TO KNOW YOU JUST GOT YOUR FAVORITE TOY BACK.

He slides his cellphone back into his pocket, squints into the constantly roiling black mass before him. "What?" He has so little patience for other demons. They're all such small thinkers. Killing a person here, stealing a soul there, leading the little sheep away down the road. They have no head at all for the Plan.

SAM WINCHESTER. HE'S NOT DEAD ANYMORE.

This is the best news he's had in some time. He pulls out the phone to call Carmen again, and remembers at the last second that she probably wouldn't take too well to actually knowing what it is he's out here doing. Instead he says, "How did that happen?" The swirling cloud of noxious dust shrugs, as well as a cloud can.

THE BROTHER MADE A DEAL. SOLD HIS SOUL IN EXCHANGE FOR HIS BROTHER. I THINK SHE GAVE HIM A YEAR TO LIVE, BUT THE BETTING POOL SAYS HE ENDS UP KILLING HIMSELF HEROICALLY IN UNDER SIX MONTHS.

Stan thinks about this. He doesn't feel pity, or remorse, no more than he feels admiration. Still, it says something about Dean Winchester that he's willing to do that for his brother. Briefly, Stan considers the fact that he wouldn't mind having his own child have that sort of attitude. He sighs, under his breath, "Oh, Dean."

EXCUSE ME?

"Nevermind. You may go." He calls Carmen and tells her his trip might run a little longer than he expected. With both the Winchester brothers alive and kicking he's sure there'll be trouble with opening the gate to hell. So inconvenient.

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6. Preserve Own Life.

He doesn't want to die. He doesn't know if that's a response from the body, or from himself, and at this point he's not sure there's a difference anymore. He has been Stan for over a year, lived in this skin, in this space behind the eyeballs, and he doesn't want to lose it.

Not that Dean Winchester cares, and he's always been the hardest member of that family to manipulate. Sam's easy enough, goad him about his dead girlfriend or his father and he falls right in line ninety percent of the time. John's even easier, he goads himself.

But the oldest son always had his priorities in place. Stan is not really surprised when the boy pulls the trigger and puts a bullet through his heart.

He can feel all the knowledge he's gained, all the things he's absorbed, slipping away and being lost forever. Can feel darkness creeping in, final and complete. He wonders about Carmen, and the baby. Mostly, he grieves, because this means someone else is going to step in and screw his Plan all up, after he worked so many millennia on it.

He thinks, Goddamnit all to hell, I left the coffee pot on. And then he dies.

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7. Life Goes On Without You.

Three months later Carmen gives birth to a little, wrinkly, baby boy. It's a long labor and afterwards they hand the child to her, and she stares down into its bright, almost golden eyes and smiles. It's a boy, a beautiful boy.

She thinks about names for a long time, trying to come up with a good one. People keep recommending Damian, or Cain, or Judas. She doesn't understand this at all, seeing as her son is about the most adorable child she's ever laid eyes on.

In the end, she names him Buddy.

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