(THAT'S HOW YOU SING) AMAZING GRACE
TEN THINGS THAT NEVER HAPPENED TO THE WINCHESTERS
WARNINGS: pre-series AU; evil!Sam; drug use; abuse; character death
After the fire, you teach Sammy that love is like fighting, love is like pain, bruised knees and split lips and blood on the pavement, baked brown in the hot sun. You teach him hurt and you teach him sorrow and you teach him the way that boys should cry, stoic and stalwart and quiet. You teach him the things that your mother never got around to, you teach him the things that your father never could. And back before Tennessee, back when Sammy started hearing the voices, getting those dreams, you were the only one who could teach him words like love and mean it. You were the only one who could teach him all the right things.
And after the fire, you and Sammy, well, your father never really did figure out exactly what was wrong with you two.
When Sammy starts telling you about the devil, how he visits him at night, bright yellow eyes, sharp shiny teeth, all claws and horns and candy sweet tongue, well, that’s when you really start to believe. This was back in Kansas, back before Tennessee, before Missouri and Bobby and Pastor Jim, back when your father was just plain crazy. Each year a new school, each year a new house, but Sammy’s dreams still stayed the same, yellow eyes and your father dead and buried, blood and bone and Sammy’s dirty hands, never clean.
You say, “It’s just a dream,” because you can’t imagine your father like that, splayed out, beaten down, defeated. You can’t imagine your father ever bowing down like that, but your words come out weak, come out soft, and Sammy’s face beneath yours, tearstained, trembling, you both know that you can’t even convince yourself.
When Sammy starts telling you about the devil, starts telling you about these urges he gets, these visions of blood, these visions of death, well, that’s when you really start listening to your father, his drunken ramblings about your mom, about that demon. That’s when you really start paying attention to the newspaper clippings, the journals, the sketches of ghosts and demons and monsters, your father ink-stained and smelling of whiskey.
Your father broken and alone.
When Sammy starts waking up with red palms, dirt underneath his fingernails, angry scratches circling his arms, when Sammy starts waking up and he’s got the taste of blood in his mouth, the taste of sinew and gristle and meat, when Sammy starts spending every morning in the bathroom puking up cat bones, well, that’s when you really start paying attention. The devil comes every night, and from what Sammy can remember, well, it ain’t too pretty. The rush of heat from the fire, the smell of rotting corpses, the burning yellow eyes, your father calls him a demon, Sammy won’t call him by name, crying and crying, won’t give him the satisfaction.
You say, “We’ll beat this,” because you can’t ever imagine any other way for this to turn out, your father’s slow tumble into drunken oblivion, your brother fighting desperately for his grip on morality. You can’t ever imagine losing your family to this, whatever this is, whatever has this hold on you.
Sammy says, “We can’t.”
Sammy says, “He won’t let us.”
Sammy says, “Nothing we can do will stop this.”
And Sammy’s tearstained face, the blood on his hands, his teeth, that whiskey smell that covers everything now, your clothes, your hair, those pages of demons and fairy tale monsters in your father’s journal, well, you both know how this is going to end. This little charade of yours, this stupid life your father had built for you, for Sammy, this stupid life of vengeance, always playing the good guys, always playing the heroes, well, you both know who’s gonna be the winner in this one, who’s gonna be the one with the best side.
And, really, when Sammy starts telling you about the devil, how he visits him at night, well, that’s when you really start giving in.
Sammy draws your father’s grave on every map you have, says, “Maybe here,” points to roads and cities and little red lines, barely visible in the quiet dark of the Impala, your father passed out in the passenger seat, your hands gripping white on the steering wheel. Sammy’s voice is low, gentle over the purr of the engine, over your father’s soft snores, the scratch of pen to paper. This driving is non-stop, this driving is like second nature to you, after the fire and after your father went crazy, this driving is something you could never live without, the smooth roads, the yellow lines, the hum of the radio. This driving is your life now, running from something you’ve tried so hard not to believe in, running from something that has this sick hold over your family, and you’re searching Kansas inside and out, but you’re starting to believe that you’ll never break free.
You’re starting to believe that you’ll never win.
Sammy says, “Maybe this time,” points to trees and lakes and rivers and flat, square patches of desert, scrawls in little black x’s with a Sharpie he found in the backseat. Sammy pointing to the places you’ve never been, California and Wyoming and Texas, pointing to the places you’ll never go, state by state, picking out the gravesites he’s seen in his dreams, dirt and blood and bone, Sammy’s emancipation, Sammy’s new beginning.
This demon Sammy sees in his dreams, this demon that took away your mother, that made your father crazy, well, you only want to meet him so you can look him in the eyes, just once, meet him just once, so you can look the destroyer of your family right in the eyes. Sammy pointing to every patch of land from North Carolina to Oklahoma to Oregon, pointing to every open space, filling up the map with his dreams, his visions, Sammy says, “Yeah.”
Says, “There,” eyes meeting yours in the rearview, tired, soft, his smile and bruised face, your father’s fingers outlined in blue and purple on the edge of Sammy’s jaw.
Says, “This is it.”
Says, “This is a good spot.”
Sometimes, you like it, the sharp burst of pain that echoes through your rib cage, your father’s fist round and heavy on your chest. Sometimes, you like it, that whiskey soaked skin pressing into yours, your father and his slur of curse words, his preaching tone, that same diatribe of demons and monsters and, God, those yellow eyes, your father’s mouth all blurred from pain. Nobody said this was ever going to be fun, but you and your father and little Sammy, well, you all know each other well enough to pick up on weaknesses, to pick up on all those little tiny faults. You all know each other well enough to pick up on what makes you vulnerable, what gets you off. Your father’s blurred mouth, Sammy’s hands all over you, that whiskey smell of his hair, you all know each other well enough to know that this has never been right, no matter how good it feels.
And nobody said you’d like this, the blood in your mouth from the split lip, the ringing in your ears, the pain that strikes each one of your ribs, nobody said you’d like this, your blood and your father’s golden skin, the bruises that you hide with shirt sleeves, that surge of warmth that goes through you like a knife. Nobody said you’d actually like this, laying awake at night tracing fingertips over your cuts, tracing wide circles and shivering from the touch, but sometimes, just sometimes, well.
Sometimes your father just gets the best of you.
You start off with weed.
It’s easy, really, buy it down the street from some twenty-five year old college dropout whose career goals include having a threesome and maybe it’s not so bad, yeah? Maybe it feels kind of good, this eternal warmth that fills up your stomach and you’re almost sinking, right, and you’re almost stepping off the edge right in to the deep end, and everything sounds like the volume knob’s been turned down, and Sammy’s mouth moves above you rapid fire, but you have no idea what he’s saying, the blood that leaks from his nose, the eye that’s just starting to swell. And it’s kind of funny, right, the way Sammy blinks back tears, blinks back tears and clenches his jaw, clamping his fists together so hard it looks like it hurts, and it’s kind of funny, right, the way Sammy looks at you like you’re your father, burying everything beneath this thin veneer of bliss.
You start off with weed, right, but move quickly on to cocaine, okay?
And it’s just a fucking avalanche after that, right, your father and your brother and this escape here, and maybe you don’t really want to think about it, and maybe you’re only doing this as a giant Fuck You to God or the devil or demons or monsters, your father’s scraps of paper, covered in ink, covered in curses and prayers and maybe your whole life story. And maybe you’re only doing this as a giant Fuck You to normalcy and morality and the fucking blood that runs through your veins screaming Hero at every corner, at every twist of Sammy’s mouth, every time your father swallows down a bottle of whiskey. And maybe you want to forget about being normal, forget about being good, about being those big goddamn heroes that you’re supposed to be, saving people, hunting things, maybe it just doesn’t work out like that, maybe that just isn’t you.
Sammy’s getting worse everyday, waking up with blood on his hands, and your father keeps on drowning, the bottles he doesn’t even try to hide anymore, and maybe you’re supposed to lend a hand or save them or find some new goddamn religion to believe in because this whole good versus evil thing has just never settled right with you, but maybe you’re just too goddamned tired. Maybe you’ve already given up, and maybe, just maybe, the devil’s gotten a hold of you, too.
Maybe you’re just biding time until you can really have some fun, blood and bones and ash and that look in Sammy’s eyes, that look right after he’s woken up and his palms are red and his mouth is full and there’s lead in his throat, but the most pleasant feeling in his belly, round and perfect, what he’s been looking for for so long. And maybe you’re just waiting until whatever’s been hunting down your family, whatever killed your mom, whatever’s been stalking Sammy through his dreams, those yellow eyes and those visions of your father dead and buried, maybe you’re just waiting for approval or guidance. Maybe you’re just waiting for the right kind of cause to believe in, the right kind of faith, the right kind of love, those yellow eyes and Sammy’s sweet touches in the dark when he thinks you’re not looking, when he thinks you’re asleep, his bloody palms, his dirty mouth, the bruises he leaves on your skin just like your father does, just like your father. Maybe you’re just waiting for the right kind of religion, those yellow eyes and all that blood and bone and ash, the right kind of destruction.
Sammy’s getting worse everyday, but maybe he doesn’t care anymore and maybe you don’t care anymore, let him go to sleep with dirt underneath his fingernails because maybe you keep saying to yourself, “It’s only animals, right,” maybe you keep justifying and maybe you keep telling yourself that everything will go back to normal soon, that everything will work out. You dream of yellow eyes and laughter, the sweet smell of whiskey surrounding you, your father’s fingerprints all over your skin, you dream of Sammy and you dream of blood, and it might be visions or it might be warnings, but maybe you really don’t care anymore because you’ve always known when you should just back down. Because you’ve always known which fights you weren’t gonna win.
And maybe even because you’ve always known when you should just start playing for the other team.
You start off with weed, right, and cocaine, okay, but your family, well. Your family has always been your favorite addiction.
After the fire, you teach Sammy that the way to self-destruct is from the inside, destroying your beliefs, destroying your faith, destroying your father’s grip on you. After the fire, your father starts setting his sights on other states, on other landmarks, his nose buried so deep in this investigation, in this fucking witch-hunt, that he picks up and follows the trail blindly, packing up all your meager belongings, dragging you and Sammy and his stupid journal all over the country. Sammy gets it, he does, gets what he’s supposed to do, who he’s supposed to be, and he knows that this is just biding time, that this is just playing nice. And he knows that, really, this is the only thing you’ve ever let yourself believe in, the only thing since your mother started tucking you in to bed at night with promises of guardian angels, the only thing since that night she burned and burned, crucified over Sammy’s crib, her hair golden from the flames.
Sammy gets it, he does, which is why you don’t question him when he drags you inside a church somewhere in Texas, drags you inside and pushes you against the seat of a deserted pew, his lips on yours, his hands all over your skin. You’re working your way down from hero to antichrist, and it’s all in the way Sam laughs as he touches you, it’s all in the way you just can’t get close enough to him, your palm flat against his chest, flat and then flexing, gripping his shirt so hard it tears, and it’s all in the way Sammy looks at you, like there’s never been anyone else.
Sam likes churches, has always liked churches, even after your mother’s funeral, even after the devil started visiting him at night, even after Sammy starts giving up. Sam with his mouth and your mouth, your skin flushed hot against his, his teeth leaving marks all the way down your chest. Sam likes churches, has always, but now he’s smarter, now he’s dangerous, with everything you’ve taught him, everything he’s let go of. Now he knows exactly who he’s supposed to be, and his hand working deft fingers down the front of your jeans, now he knows exactly who he’s working for.
Sammy says, “Hey,” his lips and his fingers, your mouth open in the shape of an o, your voice hoarse and tired, quiet gasps as Sam touches the warmth of your skin, palm slick and soft.
Sammy says, “Hey,” and your eyes open, your mouth, your hands wrapped tight around the cold of the wooden pew, knuckles straining white.
You say, “What?”
And Sammy says, “Do you still have your lighter?”
And you want to say, “Not now,” but Sammy’s got that look in his eyes, that same look that he gets in the mornings after his dreams, face painted red with blood, fingers stained black with dirt. That same look that you imagine reveals the real Sammy, the real brother you should have had, ever since your mother’s death, ever since your father started killing himself with alcohol, the real brother you’ve always been looking for, you’ve always wanted.
You want to say, “No,” but Sammy’s hand curled gentle around you, your quiet little gasps, Sammy knows just how to play you, just how to fool everyone, the same act he’s had down ever since the demon visited him that night in the nursery, your mother still soft and warm and alive. Ever since he figured out who he was, what he was, where his loyalties lie, that sweet smile, that soft Midwestern drawl, Sammy knows exactly what he’s doing, and you’re powerless to stop him.
Sammy says, “Dean,” and you curl your hand off the pew to reach into your pocket, pull out your lighter, watch Sammy’s mouth curve into a smile.
After the fire, well, Sammy starts developing a new obsession of his own, his eyes glinting as his fingers touch you beneath your jeans, see, the thing is, after the fire, well, Sammy just stopped caring. Your body shutters as you let go, your hands relaxing against the wood, your weight sagging against the pew, and Sammy slides his hand out of your jeans, slides it to your face, where he leans down and catches your lip between his teeth, biting hard. You can feel the skin give way, can taste the bitter blood on your tongue, and Sammy sighs gently against you, soft palm on your cheek.
Sammy says, “Thank you,” and you wouldn’t be able to speak even if you couldn’t taste anything but blood, Sammy lifting himself off you, looking around for patrons or priests or something, finding nobody but the flickering votive candles, casting soft light over his skin. Sammy grins above you, takes your hand in his, and tugs you to your feet, wrapping a solid arm around your waist.
Sammy says, “C’mon,” but you’ve never been able to watch, all those states behind you, all those churches, you’ve never been able to stay beside him, the screaming women, the crying children. You’ve never liked this job, but you guess somebody has to do it, you guess somebody has to set the world on edge.
Sammy and his gentle hands, his fingers whispering underneath your shirt, against your skin, whispering fucking excitement, your fly is still open, your boxers stark white against the darkness of the church, and Sammy’s thumb is flicking the lighter on and off, the flame brilliant by your side. Sammy flicking the lighter on and off, well, you’ve never liked this job, never liked this, denouncing everything your father has ever taught you, every lie your mother has ever told you about God, you’ve never been fond of this job, but you guess somebody has to do it. Even if it has to be Sammy.
Sammy says, “Here we go,” and he lights a votive candle on the stand, lights a candle with one arm wrapped around you, both his eyes on the hovering cross before you, big and languish and golden, perfect.
Sammy says, “Here we go,” and he tips over the candle, watches it fall to the cloth, watches the fire catch, the table go up in flames. His smile wider than his mouth will even go, his smile big and broad and laughing, his teeth glinting white in the flickering flames, his teeth glinting clean, and his arm is pulling you to him, his arm still around your waist, pulling your mouth to his, his hands in your hair. Around you, the world is chaos, a mess of fire and ash and thick, black smoke, but Sammy is still against you, Sammy is touching you soft, his lips against your lips, his chest against your chest.
And Sammy says, “Perfect,” kissing you once more, silent against the screeches of the fire alarm.
Before Tennessee, before the demon started visiting Sam at night, well, your father always loved Sam the best, and, well, you were never part of his plans. Before Sammy started dreaming about your father’s death, before your father starting drowning in whiskey, before your father stopped using his mouth and started using his fists, well, you were just the soldier, but Sammy, Sammy was the one.
Sammy was it.
Before Tennessee, Sammy’s mouth on your father’s, your father’s hands on Sammy’s, the way they both smelled like each other for weeks, the dirty sheets, their torn clothing, well, you were never stupid. You knew they needed each other more than they needed you. You were never stupid, you knew they wanted each other more than they wanted you, your family’s sick obsession, you knew that you were all using each other for selfish reasons, your mouth on Sam’s, your mouth on your father’s, their hands all over you, their fingerprints, their lies, the way you couldn’t breathe without each other’s touch.
You were never stupid, you always knew you were the odd man out, you always knew you were the third wheel, even before Tennessee, even before Sammy starting mapping out your father’s grave, starting dream of blood and bone and ash and your father’s cold, dead eyes, the last time he’d ever lay a hand on either of you. Sammy’s dreams of fire, your father and his open chest, his heart squeezed tight in Sammy’s hand, your father’s last gasp of air, the clean white of bone, the taste of blood in Sam’s mouth.
You were never stupid, but the thing is, you never wanted to let go of them, your family, your sick obsession, this stupid fucking pipe dream of living happily ever after, after your father killed the demon, after Sammy gave up the idea of college, after you all settled down in to this, whatever this is. You were never stupid, but you couldn’t stop your hopes and you couldn’t stop your dreams, Sammy’s mouth on yours, your father’s hands on your chest. You couldn’t stop your prayers, to the God who had stopped listening by then, your mother’s rosary, your father’s Bible, lost and forgotten in the fire that shattered your life, your family’s lives, that threw you in to this stupid war.
You couldn’t fill the void, and that’s what hurts the most, after Sammy started giving in, after your father started hating you both, started blaming you, started believing that you were the ones who brought the demon that night, you were the ones who started this whole goddamn thing. Sammy’s demon blood and your absence of backbone, following him around even after the demon turned him over for good, for forever, your absence of resistance, even after Sammy started to hurt your father more than he could ever hurt him. You couldn’t fill the void, and the demon slipped in and took over, took your place, and that’s what hurts the most, more than always knowing that you were just the back-up, that you were just the fucking after thought. That’s what hurts the most, way more than always knowing that you could never make your father happy, even with the soldier act, even if you followed every order, even if you did everything for him, even if you would give up Sam just to keep your family together.
You were never stupid, but the thing is, you can’t all live with the demon’s hold on you, Sammy and his bloody hands, your father’s slow death, you can’t all live like this, shadowed with this impending slip into darkness, Sammy and his dreams, your slide from hero to antichrist, just to keep your family together, just to stay with them. Your father won’t give the demon that satisfaction, but he’ll let you both slip through his fingers, if only so he can live to see another bottle, if only because he’s given up, because he’s lost himself so far in his hunt that he can’t see what Sammy’s become, who Sammy is anymore. The demon can, though, and that’s what matters. That’s what makes all the difference.
Before Tennessee, before the demon started visiting Sammy, started hurting your family from the inside, well, you always knew it wasn’t going to last, with Sam’s pretty face, with your father’s penchant for whiskey, you always knew it could never turn out the way you wanted it to, the picket fence, the happy family. You always knew it wouldn’t turn out the way you hoped, you and Sammy and your father and this sick, stupid obsession that you all have with each other, this need to touch and be touched, this need to never let go.
Before Tennessee, well, you never thought Sam would actually do it, his hands and your knife, blood all the way up to the hilt, your gasping, crying mouth, Sam’s small smile, his teeth glinting white underneath the fluorescents of the hotel room, your father and his blood, Sam’s teeth glinting clean. Before Tennessee, well, you never thought Sam would actually go through with it, the dreams the demon gives him, the dreams he’ll never be able to forget, Sammy and his bloody hands, the dirt and ash and bone, your father and his hand reaching out for you, his last breath, Sammy’s grip on your arm, bruising underneath the red stains.
Before Tennessee, well, you never thought Sam would actually kill your father.
The cops catch up to you in Louisiana, but that’s only because Sam lets them. After the fire, well, Sammy just doesn’t care anymore and you’re on the road to hell, working your way down from hero to antichrist, working your way down with your father’s blood still on your hands, still on Sammy’s hands, the knife he used buried somewhere in Mississippi, your father’s body still in Tennessee. And what’s funny is, you’ve always been on the wrong side of the law, but this time it’s not for the greater good, this time, well, it’s just because Sam can’t do anything else, Sammy just can’t fake it anymore.
The demon doesn’t visit Sam’s dreams anymore, doesn’t make him wake up with the taste of meat in his mouth anymore, with gristle under his tongue, bones in his teeth, but that’s only because Sam’s got the hang of it, now, Sam knows who he is.
You spend Sam’s birthday in a holding cell, spend it pacing the concrete cell for hours, working off the tension you’ve felt in your bones ever since Tennessee. You’ve been driving non-stop for days, haven’t slept for longer than a couple minutes at a time, and your muscles ache and you have this searing pain just behind your forehead, but all Sammy keeps saying is, “Don’t worry, Dean.”
Saying, “We’ll get out of here.”
Saying, “They’ve got nothing.”
Nothing besides your father’s blood on both your clothes, your fingerprints all over everything, your DNA on your father’s body, nothing besides motive and opportunity, nothing besides that look on Sam’s face, the way his mouth keeps curving, like he thinks all of this is just a joke. Like he thinks all of this is just so goddamned funny.
You spend Sammy’s birthday in a holding cell in Louisiana because they can’t extradite you until morning, because all of the boys in the sheriff’s office, well, they just can’t look you in the eye, can’t see any right with you. All the boys in the sheriff’s office, well, they just can’t see any good in the way Sammy laughs and laughs, in the way Sammy keeps taunting them, keeps repeating curses over and over, the Latin sharp on his tongue. Sammy knows what you know: you won’t be here for long, won’t stay in prison forever, not with demons on your side, not with the devil teaching Sammy those little parlor tricks, the fires in churches, all those girls he could never pass up, the ones nobody will ever even miss. Sammy knows what you know: working for the evil side of things, well, it’s just so much more rewarding.
Sammy keeps saying, “Don’t worry,” his teeth sharp, his voice aimed at the sheriff’s boys, all sitting around your cell, all watching you, like they think they’ll be able to stop you from doing what you want, like they think maybe you’ll just disappear in to thin air.
Sammy keeps saying, “Don’t worry, Dean,” his palm soft against the small of your back, his eyes aimed right for all those cops, the ones that know what you are, know what Sammy is, just know, by the way Sammy talks and acts, just by the way he can make anyone do whatever he wants. His palm flat against your back, he wants to touch you so bad, wants to touch you in all the wrong places, his teeth and tongue and the way he knows you inside and out, he wants to touch you all over right here, right in front of all these boys, all these fucking cops. He wants you to beg and he wants those cops to watch, wants them to know that you’re his, to know that you’ll never belong to anyone else. He wants you to gasp for breath and plead for mercy, to bleed all over the floor, wants them to know that you want this just as much as he does.
Sammy keeps saying, “Don’t worry, Dean,” but it’s not like you’re anything else but impatient, not with what you know, not with who you are. Not with who you’re turning in to, this man that your mother never wanted you to become, this man that Sammy was always destined to be, everything that goes against what your father taught you, everything that goes against what your family stands for. The demon wants Sammy and the way to get to Sammy is to go through you, planting the seed of discourse, having you choose between Sammy and your father, having you choose who needs you the most, but you never would have given in if you’d known what was to come, your father’s last gasping breath, your father’s hand reaching out for you. You never would have given in if you really thought Sammy would go all the way, would actually kill your father.
Sammy keeps saying, “Don’t worry, baby,” but you’ve never been worried, just anxious. The demon has been turning your family upside down ever since your brother was six months old and maybe you’re just getting tired of all this grandiosity, maybe you’re just getting a little tired of this epic plan. Maybe you just want everything to come out now, maybe you just want everything over and done with.
You spend Sammy’s birthday in a Louisiana holding cell, waiting for your extradition, waiting for the demon or the devil or someone to break you out of here, waiting for your fucking divine intervention because Sammy’s not done yet, Sammy’s not done ruining the world like this, taking out the pegs one by one, watching it crumble to the floor. Sammy’s not done with his plans, whatever they are, whatever they involve, Sammy’s not done fucking up your chances of salvation, your chances of surviving this mess unscathed. Sammy’s not done with following the demon’s orders, just like you used to follow your father’s, just like you used to play your little soldier act, and you’re not getting any younger, pacing the cold floor like this, the cops watching you with eagle eyes, Sammy smiling and laughing and pretending everything is still okay.
After the fire, well, maybe you all went a little crazy. Maybe your family was just never sane to begin with.
And Sammy keeps saying, “Don’t worry, Dean.”
Saying, “Don’t worry, baby.”
Saying, “Nobody can stop us.”
The inside of a prison isn’t much different from the outside, the world shaped by criminals and thieves and the evil ones like Sammy, just like Sammy, marked by demons, selling their souls for a few measly years spent killing beautiful young girls, spent robbing banks, spent raping children. The ones that know the demons by name, the ones that have their sights set on Hell, well, they know all about Sammy, all about you and your father and Sammy’s special little gift, and they give you a wide berth as you walk through the yard, give you your own table in the cafeteria, don’t come near your cell unless they have to. The funny thing is, Sammy doesn’t even notice, and that’s what has you worried, that’s what has you kind of afraid, Sammy’s new attitude, Sammy’s new way of life, those dreams he’s always had, well, the demon’s been grooming your brother for stardom ever since you can remember, since after the fire, since before your father’s last fucking breath, his hand reaching pale out to you. The demon’s been grooming your brother for something, and you’re not sure you’ll be able to live long enough to see what that is.
The demon’s been in your family ever since you could remember, laughing at your father, laughing at Sammy’s pathetic attempts to deny what he is, to deny who he’s always been, laughing at you and your stupid, weak little hold on all of this, your family, your father, the ghost of your mother, and, God, little Sammy. You’ve been the replacement for your mother in more ways than one, you could tell by the taste of your father’s mouth, the taste of Sammy, clinging to you like a lifeline, clinging to you with this sort of desperate hopelessness that he’s never been able to let go of. And, the demon’s blood might run through Sammy’s veins, but Sammy’s a Winchester, nonetheless, stupid messiah complex, stupid martyrdom, stupid fucking ability to make your heart twist for no goddamn reason.
The demon’s been in your family ever since you could remember, been grooming your brother for something bigger than this, something epic, but you’re not really sure how long you’ll be able to last, working your way down from hero to antichrist, working your way down just so the demon will overlook you, just so the devil won’t make you leave Sammy. You’re not really sure how long the demon will let you stay, Sammy’s new life, Sammy’s new attitude, and everybody already sees it, everybody already knows, just by the way he looks, just by the way he acts, that evil little glint in his eye, that fucking charm. Sammy’s got a way with words, and you’re not so sure it’s not the demon talking through him sometimes, just by the way he tastes, just by the way he slides a hand over your shoulder, down your back, gripping tight, fingernails pinching through your clothes.
The COs don’t bother you much, don’t see past that look in Sammy’s eyes, and you’re left to yourselves most of the time, Sammy just waiting, Sammy just biding time until he gets his orders, until the demon gets you both out of here. For now, you know that you’re Sam’s, you know who you belong to, and you know how it works, Sammy telling you what to do and you doing it, you’re not stupid, you can’t die and leave Sammy here by himself, so vulnerable to the demon, so vulnerable to everything. For now, you’re Sam’s, and everyone knows it, won’t fuck with you even if there was something to gain from it, even if there was something in it for them. For now, Sammy’s not tired with you yet, and that’s just how it’s gonna stay until the demon or the devil or whoever makes it otherwise, kills you to teach Sammy a lesson, to keep Sammy in line.
You’re not stupid, you know that you’re Sammy’s downfall and it’s only a matter of time before someone figures that out. You’re not stupid, you know this won’t last forever.
One morning, the cold recycled air chilling your exposed back, you wake to Sammy’s hands on you, shaking you gently, rubbing soft, his warm palms, heating up your skin instantly. Sammy says, “C’mon, Dean.”
Says, “C’mon, baby.”
Says, “Time to go.”
Sammy doesn’t say much about the demon anymore, doesn’t say much about the dreams or the powers or that feeling in his gut like he’s so much better now, like he’s just so goddamned powerful now that he’s turned darkside, now that he’s finally given in. Sammy doesn’t say much, but you can tell from the look in his eyes that the demon’s finally spoken to him, finally come to him and given him the all clear to get the fuck out of prison, to get the fuck out of Tennessee. Sammy smiling soft, his hands warm against your naked back, Sammy’s face haloed by the lights outside of your cell, well, you’re almost sorry you have to go. You’re almost sorry the demon’s finally gotten back to Sam, finally come around and given him the guts to leave this fucking place behind, because this is the only place you’ll ever feel like you belong.
Locked up in a cell for the rest of your life to think about all the wrong turns you’ve made, all the stupid fucking decisions, your father’s face always there just behind your eyelids, your father’s hand reaching out to you, his last whispered breath, the sound of your name from his lips. This is the only place you ever deserved to be, and Sammy will never be able to take that away from you.
Sammy’s hand against your naked back, he’s saying, “C’mon, baby.”
He’s saying, “Get dressed.”
Saying, “We’ve got to be out of here by lunch time.”
After you pull on your uniform, Sammy opens the cell door just by placing his hand on it, something that should surprise you but doesn’t, something that’s really familiar by now, Sammy’s new life, Sammy’s new powers. He looks both ways before pulling you out in to the hall, the other prisoners just waking up, the guards not yet aware, his hand soft and warm on your arm, squeezing gently, your head ringing with the start of a headache. All at once, though, it seems like the whole prison gets set ablaze.
You hear the shouts of the other prisoners before you see them, yelling and hollering and laughing out obscenities, most of them pleading to Sam to open their cages, to let them free. The guards at the end of the hall are stunned for a few moments, scared maybe, shocked definitely, but then they’re moving towards you both at the same time, holding cans of mace ready to spray. They don’t even get that close, Sam making a motion with his right hand, and you watching a shank fly through the air to slit both of their throats in one fluid line, blood spraying clothes and concrete, blood seeping on to the floor, pooling as their bodies sink to the ground.
Sammy’s left hand still holding your arm, maybe if you weren’t on his side, maybe if he didn’t love you this much, didn’t need you, well, maybe you would be a lot more scared than you already are.
Maybe you wouldn’t be so fucking nonchalant about these bloodbaths.
See, the funny thing is, Sammy’s been fine with killing people ever since the demon started invading his dreams, ever since he started waking up with blood in his mouth, ever since he really started to believe in this war, to reject those stupid fantasies of your father, saving people, hunting things. See, Sammy’s been okay with killing people ever since the demon gave him the go ahead, gave him the drive, wearing him down with a constant barrage of images, these bloody hands, this copper taste, ever since Sammy saw, really saw, what he could do with the power he has. Sam’s supposed to be some fucking antichrist, some fucking leader of this rebellion, all these demons that know just how to fall in line, all these demons that will bow down to Sammy’s command, no matter what. Sam’s supposed to be some fucking savior to everyone who’s never been able to play it straight, and maybe you’re supposed to just stand down and let him go, maybe you’re supposed to fight him for the glory, maybe you’re supposed to kill him like Sammy killed your father, like Sammy killed those COs, a knife to the throat and all that pale skin, just reaching out for you, whispering those last few breaths.
Maybe you’re supposed to do something to stop all this, but this has always been Sam, this has always been your baby brother, and you’ve never been one to break promises, especially to your father and especially about keeping Sammy safe. And you’re not stupid, you know which side you have to stand on to keep a hold on Sam, you know which side you have to join just to be able to look your brother in the eye.
Sam’s left hand still holding your arm, you move through the prison with ease, Sam slitting the throats of every guard that tries to get in your way, every prisoner that won’t shut the fuck up, until the cold concrete walls are echoing with nothing but the sound of your shoes tapping against the floor, the smell of blood in every corner. The sunshine is harsh on your face, once you push the heavy front doors open, bodies tumbling against the gravel. Sam turns to smile at you, his hand still on your arm, warm, soft, his teeth bright in the daylight, his orange jumpsuit almost blinding.
And Sammy says, “See?”
His hand on your arm, the bodies at your feet, the blood that pools on the gravel, the dirt and flash of white bone, well, you’ve seen this all before, you’ve been here, this is where you’ve been ever since Sammy grew the balls to kill your father. Sammy’s dreams, Sammy’s visions, Sammy’s new attitude, Sammy’s new fucking life, well, this is where you’ve been ever since after the fire, ever since the demon came in to your life. Sammy may not be the same, but you are, you’ve always been. You don’t agree with what he does, don’t agree with all this bloodshed, this whole fucking massacre, you don’t believe in the war, don’t believe in throwing all this humanity away for a chance to stay with Sammy, to keep what’s left of your family close, you don’t like any of this, you don’t like all this death, but you’re not stupid. You’ve never been fucking stupid, contrary to popular belief, contrary to what your father always believed in, your stupid soldier act, your stupid martyrdom, you’ve never been stupid and you know exactly how to play this one, how to ride this one out.
Sammy needs this, and if you have to be the one to give it to him, well, then you’ll play the game. You’ll give him what he needs.
And Sammy says, “See?”
His hand still on your arm, you’ve always been in love with him, you’ve always cared for him and looked after him, no matter how many times your father drank and hit and fucked, no matter how many times your brother woke up in the middle of the night screaming. No matter how many fucking times you’ve wanted to close your eyes and just wish to be someone else, someone who never has to see their father’s face in every person Sam kills, no matter what, you’ve always been there for Sammy.
And Sammy says, “See?”
Sammy says, “I got you out, didn’t I?”
His mouth on the corner of yours, his nose against your cheek, he says, “I told you not to worry.”
Says, “I’ll never let you down.”