If Temple and Jigsaw had a kid, it would be this fic.
That said, I don’t really know what this is.
Beating a Path down the Alleyway
He pants around it, the bitter reek of it, vapor curling out of his mouth like vomit.
Do you expect me to talk?
Tastes it, his insides liquefying, and he gasps and clenches his hands into fists and listens to the bones creak, and leans his head on the cold filthy bowl and sucks in the sickness out of the air.
No, Mister Bond, I expect you to die.
Sam. Sam and the TV. Sam and the TV and Bond James Bond.
There is nothing you can talk to me about I don’t already know.
Dean’s lips are dead, his skin fever-bright. Bad days and bad nights, all running together, streams of multicolored saliva dripping off his teeth. Lovely. And Sam had asked. And Sam asked. And can I help? And let me help. And Dean, let me.
ififail I fail to
Dean said, no, Sammy no damn you no
If I fail to report
And Sam’s watching TV and it’s been three days and he did this and he did this and he did
Dean curls up on the floor, high thin whine curling out of his dying blackening mouth. Taste of ashes. The shaking in his hands again. Ugly. First day and Sam said, “Dean, there’s meds.”
And Dean said, “Fuck off Sam.”
If I fail to report 008 replaces me
I trust he will be more successful.
There’s nothing left in his stomach now.
He said, “Fuck you, Sam. You got no room to talk.”
Sam’s shoulders stiffened, but his face didn’t lose that look. That soft oh so understanding little-brother-knows-best face that never failed to bring out the worst in Dean. Never, that is, before now, because now Dean was tied to the fucking sink and really, Sam?
“Really, Sam?” he ground out, painting every ounce of sneer across his face that he could manage, and Sam shrugged his shoulders a little, aw-shucks and who me? And Dean wasn’t a mark and he wasn’t born fucking yesterday either and he’d spit in Sam’s face if he’d just bend down low enough.
“It won’t be so bad,” Sam mollified, “You won’t have to do it alone, you’ll see. There’s stuff, things doctors prescribe f—”
Dean lashed out, clipped his brothers too-long shin with the edge of his boot heel. Sam yelped, jumped back, but didn’t lose that temperance-movement face.
“We’re gonna get through this,” he said. “You and me, man.”
And added, because he was a cold hearted bastard, “It’s for your own good.”
“Really not,” he gasps, as huge hot hands haul him up. “No good Sammy not good at all…” his voice trails off, more spit or vomit or vapor or blood clots spilling out of his mouth, and the big shadow over him huffs and coos, makes soothing noises.
“Sh-shsh,” it rumbles, all deep vibrations in a copper drum, “I got you, I got you man. Youan’me, okay? Just hang on.”
Head’s vibrating. Teeth rattling. China dishes in a fucking earthquake. Great big bull, huge hairy flanks. Animal stink.
“Sick,” he moans, “Fff…real sick, nnnnggggdd.” No words, just noise. Scraped out of his throat, out of his head, the stinging in his eyes the please no, no more, I’ll be good do anything just please, please
“Shh.” Something dry swipes across his forehead. Sandpaper. Hurts so bad. Noises tear and split, pus and run.
“Up up up,” says Sam and bones under his arms drag him to his feet, jolly and cajole him into the room with the TV, loud and blaring, a hole a clawing pit, a noise of laughter rapid spatter of blood.
“Shh,” Dean says, pats at Sam face, flails a hand at the television, “Shh…shut that fucking thing off.”
James Bond mumbles into oblivion as Sam smacks at the little silver button and the screen condenses to a white star in a black eye. Noise like tinnitus. Sam dumps him on the sofa and Dean grits his teeth and winches in his hands as far as his chest.
Auric Goldfinger murmurs, I trust he will be more successful.
His eyes flick to the glass, all silence and anticipatory dark. A shadow and a flash. Behind the glass or a reflection from the other side of the room. Dean squirms, tries to push himself upright.
“Turn it off,” Dean grinds out through hard enamel, “Fuckin’ turn it off—”
“Dean, it’s off, Jesus.”
He gets his elbows into the sofa cushions and that’s it, Sam’s huge hand spreads across his sternum, cover his whole chest. Dean’s sweaty and panting again and someone’s making sibilant syllables out of the air.
No, Mister Bond, I expect
“Calm down,” Sam says, “And I’ll get you something for it.”
It starts to rain and whatever Sam gave him helped, a little. It’s addictive, Sam said, So we have to be careful. But Dean feels a little better. A little. It’s quiet and Dean thinks Sam’s probably asleep somewhere, so he slides off the sofa and pads across the floor in his sock feet, and the boards creak.
He freezes. The hair on the back of his neck rises.
There’s something in the room.
He stands there, swaying slightly, hands delicately trembling, shoulders hunched. His breath slides light through his lips and barely enters his lungs. Heat runs like needles up and down his arms, back, shoulders.
In the corner is a shadow. The shadow has no form. But it turns and turns and something like eyes or like holes roll out of the black. Naked flesh torn in two. Filmy and tumorous, the color of damp egg whites.
(There are no faces in Hell.)
He hits the floor and scrambles backward and noise explodes from somewhere, some siren or alarm and suddenly lights are everywhere and Sam’s hands and Sam’s face and his brother is shouting “Dean! Dean! Goddammit, what?”
Sam’s palm connects, huge and solid, with Dean’s cheekbone, and his knuckles with the other side of his face. The pain blooms hot and bright and the alarm cuts off and Dean pants again, paws at the air, shakes his head.
“Sam,” he manages, “I saw him, I saw him.”
He tastes salt, licks at his lips, grabs for Sam’s shirt. For something to take away the look like Sam’s the one just been slapped, and Dean thinks, no, not him him and the words froth out of him like soda bubbles and Sam’s face is a lightning-bright shock of relief, there and gone. Dean shivers.
“You killed him, right Sammy?” his voice comes out more plaintive than he’d like, and Sam’s brow furrows even as his face softens. “He’s dead, you killed him. That’s what happens to the ones you killed, back then—they go away forever, right?”
But for the first time he wonders if that’s so.
“Where did Alastair go?” he whispers, and Sam stares at him, speechless, and draws his hands away.
He leans his head on the arm of the sofa and watches. It’s nothing specific, not any one thing. Just a collection of impressions.
I’ll never eat soft-boiled eggs again, he’d said earlier, and Sam just blinked at him and shook his head.
Food’s not really an option anymore, and might never be again if things keep going like this. He’s kept down some water and hasn’t sweated out every ounce of fluid, at least, but he’s curled over the pain anyway and knows he’ll be no good if anything really serious happens.
If things starts curling out of the cracks and the floor turns into an oil-slick rainbow, he’ll be stuck bobbing on his island sofa, watching Sam get hauled under.
So he just watches the cold shiver in the corners, and keeps watch for Alastair’s blinking empty eyes, and Sam comes and goes.
Hey, you’re forgetting one thing.
“Sam,” Dean says, “No, come on…”
“You’re gonna hurt yourself,” Sam says shortly, winching the belt tighter. “Just settle down.” Bright tears at the corners of his eyes.
“Nobody’s going to get hurt,” Dean bites out hoarsely, tries to yank at the bindings but he’s weak, into his bones, hands curled in on themselves, skin fragile and pale. Sam slaps his own paw over them, squeezes.
“You’re gonna be okay,” Sam says, like it’s a declaration of absolute truth.
Dean shakes his head sharply. “Don’t try to tell me—you can’t tell me you don’t see him. You think he forgave you? For what you did? You think he—”
Fingers grab at Dean’s jaw, squeeze too tight and hard and his teeth clamp together and Sam’s in his face, inches away, stressed and tired and aged ten years in three days.
“You put a fucking hole in the wall, Dean,” his brother snarls. “You’re gonna hurt yourself, or someone else, and I’m not letting that happen.”
Dean stares, eyes wide and dry, and he’s shaking again.
Sam gets up sharply, swipes the back of his hand angrily across his face. Shakes his head sharply and turns away.
Leaves Dean in the bathroom, sprawled on the floor. Door halfway open.
“Sam,” Dean tries to call, but his voice is thin and fading, and he can barely hear himself. “Sammy.”
The house settles and darkens. Dean watches the line of sunlight on the far wall, watches it creep lower. Watches the shadows lengthen. Footsteps scrape and shuffle in the other rooms, though only some are heavy enough to be Sam. The rest are light, scratchy, insubstantial. Harder to ignore. Dean stares at the floor, the pain in his shoulders and back a dull burning, the agony in his gut gone distant and strange. He blinks slow as the world cants side-to-side, worst fucking carnival ride ever. Soon as he gets off he and the manager are gonna have words.
But the only words right now are the deep pool of stretching shadow and the weight on his neck dragging his head down. His eyes are heavy and oh, he’s tired. Worse than ever. Dead tired, gone-away tired, ready for the abyss and missing it. Aching in every cell. Bones and muscles and tendons. And his eyes are faint depressions, weighing on his skull. Everything going down in a spiral.
He can’t feel his hands.
When he opens his eyes it’s light again. He’s still on the floor, sunlight flooding down the hall, joyful and bright. He moves his feet a little and they scrape whisper-soft, and aside from his breathing it’s the only sound Dean can hear.
“Sam?” he tries to call, voice thinner than before, worse than waking up buried alive. He holds his breath, listens harder. Makes his muscles still, and his skin. Everything still and quiet.
He listens, but doesn’t hear anything.
“Sam,” he calls, and manages a weak tug on the belts tying him to the sink. “Sam.”
Sam doesn’t answer.
No one answers.
He waits all day, and the shadows get longer.
Sam doesn’t come.