Category/Rated: Slash, Het, R
Year/Length: 2007/ ~4198 words
Pairing: Dean/Sam, Dean/Jessica
Disclaimer: Not mine!
Warning: Language, wincest.
Summary: Three ways Dean kind of sort of didn't end up dying.
Series: Sequel to 'Five Ways Sam Winchester Wasn't One of the Demon's Children' (not archived).
Author's Notes: Written because I was thinking of too many ways for Dean to get out of his deal, and wanted to play in these 'verses some more.
Sam died in his baby brother's arms when he was twenty–four years old, outside of the most haunted town in the country. It wasn't a slow death, but it was painful. It wasn't a death likely to get remembered by anyone but Dean, but he would have done it again anyway. A thousand times.
He had seen Dean, limping down the main street of the town, and felt the pressure in his gut ease for the first time since Dean had disappeared out of the Impala while Sam was grabbing them some chow. He had seen the soldier sneaking up behind Dean, and the glint of light off metal in his hand, and he had known what he was going to do.
Sam died for Dean, his last sight Dean's panicked eyes before the darkness took him, but that didn't really matter.
Because Dean brought him back.
Sam had been furious at first. Furious and humbled and in awe of his baby brother who had brought him back from the dead at such cost. None of that had really changed, the anger had just been focused in the last twelve months into something cold and terrible.
And now Dean's standing in front of him in their motel room, shoulders hunched in, head ducked. Dean's got a gun gripped tight in one hand, the other pressed against Sam's shoulder, shoving him back towards the door. Dean's voice is low and even, cuts through the heavy silence between them, "Just go, Sammy. Get out of here. I don't want you to see this."
'This' is Dean's solution. 'This' is a bullet in Dean's head, dead before the demons can come to collect their due. Before they can make him their General, before they can force him to lead an army against his own people
Sam just shakes his head, anger and frustration cutting his voice off in his throat.
He knows that it's his fault, at least partially, that Dean doesn't see how wrong the entire situation is. That Dean saw nothing wrong with trading the future of the entire human race for Sam's life. That Dean sees nothing amiss with killing himself to prevent becoming the demon's war leader. He wishes he could fix that somehow, but eighteen years of belief are hard to change.
Sam's been trying to make up for his childhood treatment of Dean for the past two and a half years, some days he thinks that he'll never be able to. Most days he knows it. Not that it matters. Dean forgave him, probably had forgiven him as soon as he'd walked out the door and abandoned his family. Somehow Dean just never managed to forgive himself for whatever sin he imagined had driven Sam away.
Not that this is the time to be thinking about it. Not that Dean is going to let him stand here and ponder the reasons behind his self–destruction. Not that Sam can do a goddamn thing about it anyway, except pray for more time.
Dean's voice isn't as level when he speaks again, "Please." He's bouncing, tapping the gun against his thigh in time to some inner rhythm. He can't or won't meet Sam's eyes, but then, he hasn't for weeks. Sam can feel his brother slipping away, can see how this ends. He can picture himself walking out of this shitty room and putting something loud and jarring in the Impala's stereo, and just driving away.
He says, "No. No, Dean, give me the gun."
Dean makes a choking sound, and backs up from him a step. He's shaking his head from side to side, alternating between raising the gun to shoulder height and dropping it to his waist again. His voice has been strained down to barely a whisper, "I can't. Sammy, it's the only way."
The worst part is that Sam can remember putting Dean through this, a year and a half ago when he had been possessed. He can remember pushing the gun into Dean's hands and asking him to shoot him. At the time, he hadn't understood what it must have done to his brother.
Now he knows.
"It's not, it's not the only way. Please, give me the gun." He follows Dean, and his brother keeps backpedaling till he's against the wall and can't go any farther. He's still swinging the gun around and Sam's nerves just can't take it anymore. He pushes forward, a hand on Dean's chest to pin him to the wall, the other grabbing his wrist and banging it into the drywall until Dean looses his grip.
The gun barely makes a sound hitting the ratty carpet, and Dean makes a sound of angry protest. For the first time in a small eternity he looks up, meets Sam's eyes. God, the fear there is almost enough to undo Sam. Instead he bends his head and rests his forehead against Dean's, sags forward till his weight is pressing into Dean from chest to hips. He hates how broken his own voice is, "I can't lose you."
Dean opens his mouth, closes it again, bangs a fist into the wall at his back. His voice is a hiss when he speaks, "I can't be what they want. I can't, Sammy. They want me to kill everyone. Everyone. The whole goddamn world. I can't."
And Sam feels his stomach twist, because this is a ridiculous plan, this idea growing in his gut. Like acid, boiling up through his veins, like the smell of a corpse in his nostrils and throat. He makes himself keep his eyes open, makes himself stare into Dean's soul when he speaks, "You can."
The spasm of disgust across Dean's face is accompanied by Dean pushing and shoving at him with sudden fury. Sam braces his feet and keeps Dean in place by virtue of outweighing him by at least fifty pounds. Forces the words out of his throat, "Listen to me. You'll be a double agent, Dean. It'll be bad, I know. I know, man. But you'll be alive, and you can give me information about what they're planning. I can make sure that they don't win the war. We can beat them. Me and you. Together."
"Sam–" Dean cuts himself off, sounding pained. His face has lost its color, he's beating his head rhythmically against the wall, like he's trying to jar himself out of a bad dream. The motion transfers into Sam, jars his teeth, and he grits them.
"We can do it."
He tries not to think about Dean living with the demons on a day to day basis. Tries not to think about him leading them into war. It doesn't matter. Dean will be alive, and probably safer than anyone else. They can beat the demons, they can fix this, and he and Dean can run off to the Bahamas or something, after that. Repeats, "We can do it."
Dean hiccups around a sound that might be a laugh or a sob. He's got a hand in Sam's hair, fingers curling against the line of his scalp. His other hand is still pinned against the wall by Sam, but Sam can feel his fingers clenching and unclenching. Sam repeats once more, "We can do it." It doesn't matter if Dean doesn't believe it yet. Sam believes enough for them both.
Dean pulls him down into a kiss, hard and closed mouthed. When he pulls back his mouth is bruised to match the dark circles under his eyes. Dean says, "Okay. Okay. We'll do it." The demons come for him in the morning. Sam makes the night last as long as he can.
The war lasts five years.
When Sam Winchester told his girlfriend in college all about his big brother, she had thought he sounded too good to be true. That there was no way Dean could actually be all the things Sam said he was. Loyal. Protective. Fierce. She told herself he had to be exaggerating, and when she started traveling with Dean, she fully expected him to prove himself a craven bastard within the first week.
She hadn't been prepared for him to be everything Sam said he was and more. She hadn't expected him to risk his life for hers at every opportunity, to teach her how to shoot and fight with smiles and patience. She'd had no defensives against his bull–headed dedication to doing the Right Thing, to Saving People.
It was all his fault she fell in love with him. His fault for not blaming her for his brother's death, when he had every right to. His fault for standing between her and his own father. His fault for keeping her sane when she was sure she was loosing her mind.
His fault for bringing her back when she died from her own stupidity.
She wishes that she knew more, lying beside him on their bed. Thinks that if only she knew a little more about what they did and the things they hunted, she could find a way to fix this. To get him out of the deal he had made for her life. But she doesn't.
All she knows is that he looks younger when he sleeps. That it erases some of the lines on his face and that the dark hides the scars and imperfections left by a life less than gentle. All she knows is that she loves him, more than she has ever loved another person, and that she can't let the demons take him from her. That she fucking won't.
Dean wakes up, possibly from feeling her staring, blinks up at her blearily. His voice is a low, thick rumble, it sends chills down her spine and pleasant warmth through her gut, "Hey. You okay? No nightmares?"
She's fine, except that she doesn't know how she's going to go on if he dies, and so she kisses him in answer. He runs a hand up her back, buries his hand in her thick curls and drags her over onto him. She laughs when he mumbles into her mouth, "Officially my favorite way to wake up, right here."
She thinks later that must have been when she got pregnant, because usually they were so careful.
Dean treats her like glass after she starts showing, treading a fine line between funny, annoying, and sweet in his concern. He keeps a hand on her belly when they drive, grinning like a fool. But sometimes she catches him looking at her so sadly that it lances through her, and she can feel the baby kick its distress. Sometimes he leans his head against her belly when he thinks she's sleeping, tracing patterns across the swollen skin and whispering to his unborn child.
She wonders if it's eavesdropping, listening to his whispered words, and decides that it isn't. There's so much pain, so much love, in this man of hers that sometimes she doesn't know what to do. She thinks that he deserves to be able to raise his child, that the baby deserves to know its father.
She has their baby in an old cabin somewhere in the middle of the northwestern Oregon forests, a month before Dean runs out of time. The baby is two weeks early and Dean delivers it with the same expression on his face he uses for hunting evil things. It hurts like a son of a bitch, but they don't know if the demon will be interested in the baby or not, and Dean fully intends to keep it behind as many wards and sigils as possible.
He hands her the little dark haired boy, wrapped in an old shirt, and then eases into the bed beside her, curls around his family. The baby looks like a tiny wrinkled alien, for the most part, the way babies do. It's beautiful and amazing and she forgets the pain looking down at its perfect clenched fists and its half–lidded pale eyes.
Dean says, "We made that," his voice soft and awestruck. She laughs, and he kisses her mouth and swallows the laughter. His voice is even softer when he speaks again, "We're calling him Sammy, right?" She threads their fingers together and nods and little Sammy starts wailing his head off.
When the demon comes for Dean he's sleeping the sleep of the heavily drugged in their bed. Jess is waiting outside, wearing an oversize shirt of Dean's and jeans and armed to the teeth. She's thinking about momma bears and lionesses and that no one is taking her family away from her.
The demon possessed a beautiful woman, all long dark curls and a low hung black dress that leaves just about nothing to the imagination. It pauses a few steps in front of Jess, crosses its arms under its ample bosom, and smirks. Its voice is smoky and full of barroom promises, "You can't keep him from me."
There was a time Jess might have believed that. Now she's not so sure, and more importantly, she doesn't care. She's still hurting from the birth, tired and sore from breastfeeding and taking care of the baby at all times of the night. It doesn't matter. All she says is, "Watch me."
She's aware that the entire thing feels kind of terribly clichéd. A big girl fight over a man, but then, Dean's worth being a little clichéd over. She lowers herself into a fighting crouch, points at the demon and crooks her finger. The demon laughs, its eyes flaring red, drawls, "Oh, little girl, you don't want to fight with me."
She really, really does.
The demon comes at her in a blur of motion, but Jess' reflexes are better now, than they were before she died. They trade blows, dance around each other, and Jess thinks about her baby boy and her man and fights dirty and vicious. When she manages to slam her elbow into the back of the demon's head hard enough to knock it insensible, she knows she doesn't have a lot of time.
Not to drag it into the cabin, into the Devil's Trap, not to get everything she needs ready. By the time she finishes getting everything arranged the demon is stirring, rubbing at the back of its head and scowling when its fingers come away bloody.
It rolls its eyes, staring up at the chalk on the ceiling and hissing, "This is the best you can do? What, you gonna offer not to exorcize me if I give you his life? Go ahead, I'll get him anyway. He's mine, girlie. Bought and paid for."
Jess just smiles, and keeps her preparations. Minutes drag on, and the demon starts pacing, almost vibrating with fury. "What are you doing, you bitch? Talk to me." It's easy to ignore it, to keep etching the symbols onto the floor, to keep lighting the candles. "Hey! What do you think you're doing?"
Jess pauses, stands up and cracks her aching back, "I'm going to kill you." She's surprised at how calm she sounds, how sure. She'd thought it would have been harder than this, but all she can see is Dean's face, Dean's hands. She bends, traces another thick stroke on the floor.
The demon makes a terrible sound, says, "You–you–what? You can't kill me, you idiot, do you know what I am?" Jess just laughs, pleased when the demon flinches back, when she sees the beginnings of doubt in the monster's eyes. "Wait, stop! Just stop. What do you want?"
Jess smiles, leans forward, "You know what I want." What she wants is snoring in the next room. What she wants loved her so thoroughly last night that her body still aches with it. What she wants cradles their son in his arms like he's the most precious thing in the world.
The demon is shifting uncomfortably from side to side, not saying anything, and Jess resumes what she was doing. Times getting short and she can feel it, an electric tingle up her spine. The demon's voice cracks when it speaks, "Stop! Don't. Okay, okay, I can give him another year, how about that?"
Jess just rolls her eyes and doesn't say a word. "Another will come for him. I'm not the only one in this line of business, you know." Jess adjusts her grip on the chalk, hums a little under her breath. "You can't kill us all. You're only putting off the inevitable, someone will take his soul."
"Won't be you." She gets to watch the color drain out of the demon's face. Hefts a book and starts flipping through the pages. Each second is a banging clang in her mind, grinding against her nerves.
"Okay, fine. Fine, you have his life, okay? Just let me go."
Dean told her how these deals work, and so she's expecting the kiss, can taste blood in the back of the woman's mouth. She breaks the circle, and the demon flees the woman's body. And Jess sinks down to her knees, feeling her entire body trembling, breathing in as slow as she can through her mouth.
She thinks that when Dean taught her how to bluff he'd been imagining poker, not this.
21 April 2008
Subject Phoenix remains unresponsive to all sedatives in anything but extreme doses. The sedatives are, even then, purged from the subject's system extremely quickly. 700 cc's of the Alpha compound will keep the subject sedate for approximately fifteen minutes.
The subject can be restrained by standard means, and shows no potential for the physical feats summarized in the files for Subjects Golem and Titan. As yet undetermined if the subject possesses a telepathic or telekinetic skill.
Further experimentation scheduled to begin at 0600 hours. Until then subject to be dosed every fifteen minutes with 700 cc's of the Alpha compound.
13 May 2008
Tissue samples of subject's epidermis, liver, heart, kidney, lung, and brain attached to package. Please note that if the samples are not kept frozen at all times they will attempt growth. We have successfully grown a heart in a sealed clean room, the experiment was terminated when the heart began to grow the surrounding lungs and brachial tubes.
Subject shows unprecedented regenerative ability. Left leg was amputated and regenerated in seventy–three hours. Subject has developed a resistance to the Alpha compound, and all other sedatives. Wiring its jaw shut is the most efficient way to keep the subject silent during the procedures.
Subject's physical systems appear to work normally. Forty–eight hours of observation of the subject's open chest cavity confirm that even exposed to air the subject's organs will be unaffected. Subject has the proper length of both small and large intestines. Other organs all average size and weight. Subject's bones appear normal, its brain is of average size.
Preliminary experimentation confirms that subject has high field use possibilities.
30 June 2008
Final durability tests scheduled for completion at 1800 hours tomorrow.
Subject has proven able to withstand third degree burns over ninety–eight percent of its body. Its skin appears capable of not only repairing, but rebuilding from a bone base.
Subject tested well in the tank. It survived three minutes after the tank filled, and when pulled out five minutes later completed lung and brain repair in ten minutes. The subject was fully functional within half an hour.
Subject tested equally well with electrocution, as well as a ninety percent blood loss.
Trauma to the head appears to be the subject's only weak point. Testing tomorrow will consist of severing the head from the body and procedures B183–A through B198 to judge durability of the brain and spinal cord. If successful subject should—
Colonel Jackson has been smelling smoke for the last five minutes, waiting for it to fade, figuring that someone was using the incineration chamber. It's hardly his concern, his subject came through the worst the chamber could do with flying colors a week before. He'd been justifiably smug, and had earned quite the attaboy for that.
The thing is, the smoke isn't fading. It's getting thicker, and he thinks one of the other incompetents must have left the vents open. He can certainly smell charred flesh in the cocktail of propane and seared ozone. He hadn't even thought they had any other healers in testing, and wonders absently if someone took his subject without his permission. He contents himself with the knowledge that no one would dare.
He leans back from his computer, rubbing at the pain in his neck, and thumbs his radio on. It's a surprise, not of the pleasant variety, when static and screams pour out of the speaker into the still air of his lab. He hisses, "Shit," into the empty room and slams a palm down on the panic button.
There's no pulse of alarms, no flare of red light, nothing. He slaps the button, keeps smashing it, not understanding why it's not working. He decides that this is a test, God knows the Company has come up with some truly insane drills over the years. There's nothing to do but play along with their stupid little control games.
He stands, wondering why it's so goddamn hot in the room, and starts lockdown procedures on his project. After that it's just a short elevator ride to the surface and the helicopters to relocate them to the safety station where they'll inevitably sit around smoking cigarettes for twenty minutes before being allowed to return to their important work.
There's a strange noise coming from the subjects room and he pauses, palm over the control panel to close to door, stares at the thing strapped to the steel cot in the middle of the room. It's making a sound, which is unprecedented. He hasn't heard it do anything but try to scream around the wires holding its mouth together.
It's scientific curiosity that makes him enter the room, lean over the cot. The subject is shaking its head from side to side, eyes wide and bright. The colonel takes a step back, unnerved by the huffing sound that has to be laughter. Telling himself that it's not fear climbing his spine when the thing on the table opens its lips and grits out, "Burn."
It's the first thing the subject has ever said in the months that Jackson's been examining it. He crosses himself, a held over habit from a childhood in his mother's fine old Catholic church, and heads for the door. Screw locking the fucking thing down, it's not going anywhere anyway.
He freezes when he finds his lab full of flames, and, and, and that's not even possible.
There's a man, standing in the midst of the flame, tall and broad shouldered. His hair is writhing around his head like a living thing, and his eyes spark and dance with the flames. And he does not burn, not walking across the floor, right through fire so hot it's blue edged with white.
The impossible man stops in front of Jackson, and he smells of smoke and blood and death. Jackson takes an automatic step back and the man follows him, face twisting up in a sneer, his voice is a low hiss, "You're gonna want to let my brother go now."
Jackson stumbles, then tries to feint around the man, tries to make a mad dash for freedom. The man just catches him, lifts him off his feet, and slams him onto the floor. The man leans over him, smiling like a knife, and purrs, "Wrong choice there," he ducks his head, looks at the rank pinned to Jackson's collar, "Colonel. See you in hell."
There's pain, pain like nothing he's ever felt, At first he doesn't understand what it is, and then he opens his mouth to scream, and smoke pours out. He has time to realize that he's burning from the inside, and to pray that it'll be quick.
He gets to watch the man bend over the thing on the table. He can see the man's hands glow white, and drops of melted metal drip off. Some land on Jackson's skin, and add new spots of pain to his encompassing agony.
He watches the man lift his project off the cot, cradling it gently to his chest. The project reaches up with one shaking hand, pulls its lips back and shows the metal inside to the man. There's a sharp jag of agony in Jackson's gut, and it distracts him from the strangeness unfolding around him, but only briefly.
When he comes back to himself the man is walking out the door, out into the flames, saying, "It's okay, Dean, it's okay, I'm here now. I've got you. We're going to get you to a hospital and get that shit out of your mouth. It's okay. I'm here, baby, I got you. Don't you ever do that to me again, I thought I'd never find you, baby. I was so scared, so goddamn scared–"
And then they're gone.
Jackson burns, a slow terrible simmer. It takes him nearly an hour to die, and each second is agony such as he has never known.
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