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When Dean wakes up, Alastair is already gone, and his left hip pulses rhythmically in pain. He runs his hand over it, feeling the edges that make out the shape of Alastair's palm, branded into his skin for the day. He presses on it, gently at first and then more insistently, and hisses with pleasure at the pain.

He stretches, scratches at the lacerations on his inner thighs, and gets up. His robe is nowhere in sight. He scowls – hiding Dean's clothes is one of Alastair's ideas of 'fun' that Dean doesn't share. They're never too far, though; clothes are one of the differences between torturer and tortured, one which both Dean and Alastair enjoy: Dean because they make an armor, and Alastair because they lend Dean another layer that's just begging to be peeled off.

He finds his robe in the sink seconds before turning on the faucet. He shakes his head and hangs the robe over his shoulder while he splashes cold water over his burn. He doesn't bother drying off before slipping the robe on and getting to his duties; the water will evaporate soon enough in the Pit's heat.

It's been thirty-four years and a hundred and seventy eight days since Dean was dragged down under. He wonders, fleetingly, if Sammy's had kids already. He better have stopped hunting. Dean doesn't let himself consider that his brother might have died. What is Dean in Hell for, if Sam's dead anyway?

Dean gets to his victim of the day early enough to see her flesh knitting itself whole again, droplets of blood oozing back into her body through jagged cuts. She's a pretty little thing, hanging as she is from the ceiling, bright and shiny, her rot hiding just under the surface.

Dean makes sure he's the first thing she sees. She whimpers through her gag at the sight of him, and he smiles and comes up to her. "Let's get it off of you, all right, sweetheart?" he says and slides a finger between her sweaty cheek and the leather, pulling sharply enough for the ties to give. The little bitch gasps, but doesn't try biting his fingers off, this time. Dean always did like them smart.

He hates her fucking guts.

He grabs the Pear of Anguish from a nearby tray and takes her face in his hand, thumb and middle finger each positioned over the joints of her jaw. "Open up," he murmurs, softly, mocking. Bitch tries shutting him out, but Dean closes his hand just enough that she can't, not all the way. "Nuh-uh," he says. "You forget the rules already, baby?"

With that he squeezes tighter until her mouth is open enough to insert the pear. The sharp edge at the end pokes the back of her throat, and Dean considers her for a moment before shoving it all the way in. The bitch gags and chokes, and then coughs. Dean smiles when blood starts dribbling from her mouth. He ties the straps of the instrument behind her head, pats her cheek, and says, "That's a good girl."

Next he grabs the skinning knife. She makes a sound at the back of her throat – Dean wouldn't care, but more blood comes out of her mouth, mixed with saliva. Dean can't wait for the moment she'll start trying to scream. He loves it when people try not to express their pain in fear of hurting more.

Dean tests the knife on his palm. "How about we take it slow today?" he asks.

He cuts a circle around her leg, right above the ankle. The bitch's muscles twitch under his hands, her skin warm and glistening; he leans forward and breathes her in, humming approvingly before cutting a matching circle beneath her knee and a connecting cut along her shin.

He pushes his fingers under her skin and pulls, revealing fat and muscle and surprisingly little blood. She gurgles, chokes, spasms, her body swaying slowly where she hangs by her arms. He pulls until it all comes off, and casts it to the side.

Dean plays with her, teases, flays her limb by limb. Her chin is covered with blood. She sways, crying. He stands up and unscrews the pear in her mouth; it opens a little, moves in her throat—

And then he spots Alastair. He's looking at Dean with a familiar curl to his mouth. Contemplative. Possessive. Proud. Dean's toes curl.

He pauses. Gives Alastair a smirk. Turns back to the girl, runs his hand over her side, and whispers, "Let's make you scream." He cuts above her tits and under her belly, along her torso, cut after cut, his knife kissing her skin.

(he's pretending that he's alastair)

He pulls off her skin, slowly, glancing at Alastair under his lashes. Checks the girl hasn't fainted, and continues stripping her. For Alastair.

Once he's done, Alastair comes over and draws Dean close. His hand finds the brand on Dean's hip and presses on it. Dean wraps his own arms around Alastair, still holding the girl's skin, and shares Alastair's breath, tasting sulfur and copper.

"Do you like it when I watch you, Dean?" Alastair asks and rubs against Dean's crotch.

Dean hums his answer and presses against Alastair's mouth, biting his lower lip in an imitation of a kiss, and dreams of wrapping Alastair in the girl's skin, thin and vulnerable and unfitting, and squeezing until there's nothing of him left.