A spotlight on a wide stage. It is seen from above, the single hazy pool of white light illuminating a man lying in a bed behind a wall of bars.
Music is straining softly in the background: someday my prince will come, someday we'll meet again
Another spotlight. Sudden, bright, in the middle of the stage. It creeps up, onto the backdrop, flinching with each sudden, deafening pound of percussion.
An ax tears through the backdrop.
A man steps out. The spotlight cowers before him, its edge brushing just enough of him to cast a shadow, to illuminate a silhouette. He strides forward, and the whistling grows louder. His spotlight light fades red, and disappears.
A klaxon wails. The man in the bed jolts up with a gasp.
An ax slams into the bars.
The camera barrels in close. Tight on the ax, and the bars, and the grinning face that shoves itself between them.
[The screen flashes to the title card. SUPERNATURAL in light-bulb-lined letters on a marquee, flickering brighter and brighter as the sound of feedback climbs in the background and then, when the feedback climbs to a piercing shrill, they explode.]
'Dean,' Sam gasps. 'Dean, Dean, Dean--'
Dean wrenches the ax out of the bars, where it's lodged in the old metal. He steps through the bars, into the grimy Hell cell like he's half smoke and half #THINMAN, and his mouth is sewn shut, his mouth is tearing open, his mouth is bleeding sounds Sam can't hear past the roar of his blood in his ears. He pushes his head harder against the wall behind him as Dean braces his hands on either side of Sam's head, leans close with his mouth ripping open and his eyes wide and narrow and black. He leans closer and then
Then the cell is a room, and the space between them is a table, and Dean's yanking the thick black suture impatiently from his lips like he might a tie from his collar, and slapping it around Sam's neck. It turns into a snake and coils tightly there. It hisses its forked tongue angrily against his carotid.
Sam goes still. Dead still, except for the pulse racing in his neck and his wrists and his gut.
Dean splays his hand over the snake. Over Sam's neck. He sings, nearly inaudible, one night in Bangkok--
The snake loosens. Slides bonelessly from Sam's neck.
Thuds heavily to the floor.
Dean's hand works against Sam's throat. Uncertain.
I can feel the--
The snake twitches atop their feet, and slithers away.
Dean's eyes darken all the way to black again, and his hand closes vice-tight around Sam's throat.
One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble.
Unseen in the darkness behind him, Crowley smiles. "Thank God I'm only watching the game," he says. "Controlling it."
He hums and pulls out his phone. A Superman symbol gleams on the back of the case.
two shots in the night
and they're gone
and he's left all alone
"Dude!" Dean crows and punches his fist in the air. "I kick ass!"
"Dean!" Sam shouts. His eyes are wide; he's half in awe at Dean's courage at jumping off the roof and half in delight at how much trouble Dean's going to get in for doing it.
Dean scoffs at his expression. "What, you gonna tell on me?"
"Go ahead," Dean says. "Tattle-tale."
"I'm not a tattle-tale!"
"Well, you're not Batman, either."
Sam glowers in five-year-old outrage. "I am! Miss Sue gave me the costume!"
"Only 'cause you don't have the muscles to be Superman," Dean says unkindly. He can't help it; at nine, he's dismayed that his brother got to have the hand-me-down Batman costume from the motel manager, while Dean is stuck with the big blue boy scout. But he's not dismayed enough to let Sam thinks he cares, so he says, "Lame-o."
Sam glowers harder. "Just you watch, Dean!" he shouts, and scrambles up onto the shed where Dean perched atop its roof thirty seconds earlier. "I'll be a better Batman than you ever could!"
[Black screen. The sound of a crash, and a thud.]
The chime of the bell on a bicycle handlebar, and a small boy hiccupping away tears because the real Batman wouldn't cry.
And Dean staying quiet, and biting his lip hard, because the real Superman wouldn't have let Batman fall in the first place.
no, there's nothing he can do
except, be the baddest man
that there's ever been
Sam reaches up to peel the Batman cowl back from his face. Except, his head comes with it. It rolls out of his hand, and onto the floor, and he stares up at his headless body and Dean's black-eyed one, and then he's rolling down, down, down the rapidly slanting hallway.
He rolls toward heat and darkness, and picking up speed like the snowballs in cartoons, and he's just a head but he can taste his heart in his mouth, pounding frantically as voices scream out around him, as hands shoot out from the barred cells on either side of him, scrabbling to try and catch him.
'Dean!' he shouts again. 'Dean--Dean--Dean!'
Dean is loping after him. Dean is Dean, Dean is not Dean, Dean is a wolf with a long lolling tongue and panting mouth bounding after Sam with black eyes, and from speakers around them trills a heavily accented Italian voice AND THEN MY POOR MEATBALLLLLLLLLLLL RRRRROLLLLLLED OUT OF THE DOOOORRRRRRRRRR
Sam bounces over a ridge in the floor. Goes sailing.
Sails through a searing wall of flame.
He hits the ground hard. Rolls, and rolls, and rolls…until a foot arrests his motion.
He squints up, dazed, blinking.
Lucifer looks back down at him, above a white leather loafer and spotless white suit.
Lucifer tilts his rotting head and says thoughtfully
gotta grab it and go
Teenage boys in basketball outfits race out from the edges of the dark. They're dribbling basketballs back and forth, except the balls are white moons are decapitated heads, leaking slippery trails of blood across the varnished floor.
A whistle pierces through the cacophony of skidding sneakers and wordless shouts. Lucifer grips Sam's head more tightly in his hands.
A man strides through the crowd of boys. He's in white, and red, a silver whistle snug between his lips.
He plucks it from his mouth and points at Lucifer and says don't be afraid to shoot the outside J.
Through the basket Sam falls.
Everybody's always talking at me
Everybody's trying to get in my head
Static begins to break through the words
--ver get on a ride--na get--ff?
--ush away--ould've held--
--id you ever let go?
A close-up of the Impala's dashboard. The radio. A hand entering the screen, turning the dial. The staticky song gives way to
I'm punchin', crashin', I'm gonna
fight to find myself
me and no one else
(I want my own thing. I want my--)
The passenger's door creaks open. Dean steps out. The camera view shifts to show the Impala's front, and Dean's feet beneath the car door as he steps out. The headless body sitting behind the wheel.
A shrunken head dangles from the rearview mirror, its face hidden by the glare of sun off the windshield.
Dean slams the door shut.
Lucifer is waiting in the cemetery. He is waiting in the cemetery, and Michael is waiting in the cemetery, and Dean strides toward them in a purple Joker coat that flares behind them with a Heath Ledger grin slashing his unsmiling face and a crowbar swinging from his Cain-marked hand.
He spins. (His coat flares and flutters.) He hauls back his crowbar and slams it into the Impala's hood.
Sparks spray from the metal. Glass sprays from the windshield.
The glass shatters inward and sprays across the interior, slicing the string holding the head to the mirror and Sam plummets, Sam falls onto the driver's seat and rolls under the gas pedal. Huddles there like a kid waiting for Dad and Dean to come back from a hunt, again.
Who can take the sunriiiiise
(dad's gonna be here, right?)
sprinkle it with dew
(he'll be here)
cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two
Dean spins back around once the Impala is a twisted mess of metal. He advances on Lucifer and Michael, and he swings the crowbar at them like a golf club, like an ax. They burst into soot and smoke, explode into showers of colored candy and skitter across the floor. Tremble and race up the walls that rise up to shut out the cloudy sky. Shiver there like insects, like a seething mass of rainbow bees. Then dark, glutinous liquid starts to seep from them. Drips down the walls like blood. Drips and drips and drips and drips, until the Impala is afloat and its floor is flooding with chocolate, and Sam is floating out into a sea of it, bobbing like a lure.
A hand catches him by the hair. Hauls him up, and says, Fondude. Heh heh, get it?
Sam makes a bitchface. Blinks chocolate from his eyes.
Dean sets Sam's head on his chest and reclines back on his back in the chocolate, arms spread. A face-up Dead Man's Float. His voice thrums, low and comforting, beneath Sam's cheek.
The candy man ("the candy maaan," trill the Lucifer and Michael corpses floating past them in the stream)
The candy man can ("the candy man can")
The candy man can 'cause he mixes it with love
and makes the world taste good
("makes the world taste good")
They float for a long time. Until Sam's hair is stiff from the drying chocolate and the sky above them is starting to turn orange and purple with dusk. He feels safe with his brother for the first time, and he doesn't want to move.
But clouds start to move fast across the sky. Shifting the shadows that fall across Dean's face, reflecting strange colors in his black eyes.
Dean says, Sammy look
Sammy rolls over.
Fireworks are exploding in the darkening sky. They shower down in rainbows, in brightly colored Skittles that splash into the water around them. They rain down like hail, thicker and thicker, the fireworks booming louder and louder above them, and suddenly Sam sees the pictures the Skittles are making in the sky. They move and shift, yellow with yellow and orange with orange and he sees
Sarah gasping and convulsing on a hotel room floor
Jody vomiting blood into a white sink
Kevin's eyes bursting into fiery black pits
Dean whispering I'm proud of us
The cat's tails along the chocolate river's banks begin to rustle.
with a spin
'Stop,' Sam says--
the world of our creation
Sammy, Dean says, and his face is painted white again, but it's Johnny Depp this time. Don't you like our greatest hits?
Sam tries to roll off of him. 'Dean, this isn't Heaven--'
Sam, Dean says, What would you know about Heaven?
He sits up. He sits up, chocolate sluicing down him, and the chocolate darkens into a tuxedo, darkens into sleek lines of arms and legs as he reaches under the river's surface, and pulls up Sam's headless, chocolate-covered body, and starts to waltz.
I'm in heaven
His eyes flicker from black to green
and the cares that hung around me--
Sam's body tips forward. Sam's throat disgorges a gush of chocolate onto Dean's white tuxedo shirt.
Oh, Sammy. Dean's eyes bleed back to black, black, black. He pulls his hand from Sam's waist and pushes back his sleeve. Makes a cut there, and squeezes until red blood wells up. You didn't tell me you were thirsty.
The flattened pink ring of Sam's esophagus ripples. The flattened white ring of his trachea flexes. Stomach growls come from them, airplane noises come from them, a little boy's plaintive voice saying, 'Dean, aren't we there yet?' comes from them, and then roars
hellhounds lunging from the doorway. Hellhounds tearing into Dean. Bones snap and splinter and the amulet is ripped from his chest, it sails through the air, carrying silence in its wake, dragged behind it like a current, like a dead body flapping on a chain, a body dragged by a comet, and Dean's eyes are snapping open, green and terrified white. Then he's fire, fire all over, the chocolate boiling away, and a shape swoops out of the inferno with a shriek like a bird of prey, alights on the ground in a whoosh of flame that sweeps outward like a trench coat
'Cas!' Sam gasps. And he's rolling across the Skittle-covered riverbed toward the angel, picking up speed like a snowball toward Hell--
Cas snatches him up. Holds him close, in the crook of his arm, and revolves slowly on the spot, eyes narrowed. "Sam. What is this pla--"
Dean's laughter rings out around them.
Castiel goes very still.
On the gouged-out walls of the riverbank around them, more Skittles writhe silently. A Winchester plunging a knife into a yellow-haired woman's gut; a Winchester aiming a gun at a girl in khaki and pink.
Cas's hand tightens around Sam. 'Dean?'
The Skittle shower to the floor in a deafening clatter. Then they vanish, and Sam's body does too, and suddenly he's inside a bubble, arms and legs and torso and all. Slamming at the sides of the bubble as it floats up, up, up, in a dark empty chamber.
anything you want to, do it
Below him, Cas is turning slowly on the spot. Shadows stretching out to either side of him that look like wings. Sam casts no shadow; the air between him and Cas, meters below, is filled only by dust motes drifting lazily in the gray air streaming from a hole far above him in the ancient stone.
'Dean--?' he hears Cas's alarmed voice as if through a wall, muffled. 'Sam--!'
An invisible force plows into him. Slams him into the wall.
Sam stares in horror at the cratered stone behind Castiel. The way the angel slides bonelessly to the floor, blood gushing from his forehead, from one side of his nose.
The very air around them seems to pulse and breathe. A held, anticipating breath. The tension of air held inside lungs, of blood pounding in ears.
Cas is struggling up onto his knees. 'Dean,' his mouth shapes as he raises his arm over his head. A plea, a shield--
want to change the world?
this is the story you wanted to write
Cas screams as his arm is wrenched backward at his elbow. The bones tear out, wet and red and slick. Dean appears, black smoke coalescing from the meager light, and his black eyes are crinkled in delight above his white teeth.
Something tells me the tide'll be turnin'
He drops down on his knees over Cas and yanks his arm out of his sleeve. Tongue flicking out, eager and excited, at the sound Cas makes.
There's a fire inside me that won't stop burnin'
Cups Cas's face in his hand, palm against the stuttering pulse in Cas's neck.
Now that the choices are clear--
Cas stares back at him, face glistening red and wet
Now that tomorrow is here--
Dean hauls back his fist and punches Cas right in the face.
Watch how the mighty will fall
Cas crumples to the floor. He does not move.
Dean pushes to his feet. Turns around, and there's a cap on his head, suspenders dangling from his waist. He whips off his hat and twists it in his bloody hands, and his voice goes low, low, low
This is to even the score.
The spotlight narrows. Narrows. Until it's on Dean's face, just his face, and the black eyes glistening within it.
Dean closes them.
The spotlight goes dark.
Then it snaps back on. Dean is in a fedora, now, a long coat and a three-piece suit, and his hands are gloved then he lifts one to the brim of his fedora to tilt it back and glance up at Sam. There's a gun in his gloved hands, a Colt, and he sights down it, sights up it.
Sam plummets. Hits the floor, and cracks, and splatters in red pieces across the walls.
Jesus, Sammy, Dean's voice says above him, and a wing tipped loafer stops the momentum of his head as it rolls across the floor. It's Lucifer, it's Dean, it's a shrill whistle piercing the air.
Somewhere waiting for me
there is someone I'm longing to see
Another whistle answering it. Low and musical where Dean's is high and staccato, and the bricks of the wall behind Sam begin to collapse inward. Zoom away into blackness, cold wind.
A hand closes around the edge of the hole. Benny pulls himself out of it. His lips are pursed, tongue curled to whistle In the Hall of the Mountain King.
Dean says, Brother, and Benny grins wider. Drags his clawed finger along the pieces of Sam still spattered across the wall and sticks it into his mouth. Closes his eyes, and his whistle becomes a hum.
someday when spring is here
we'll find our love anew
When Sam comes back to, Dean and Benny are crouched on either side of Cas's still body. His wings are black feathers around him, red and white bits of gristle and bone visible between, and Dean has the First Blade in his hands. Blood and saliva drip from its teeth.
He and Benny are whistling, again.
Dean stops. He turns to look over his shoulder at Sam. His eyes are black; drops of blood bead his lashes, freckle his face. He blinks, and licks his lips, and looks solicitous.
Sammy, he says. Sammy, you still thirsty?
He holds out a hand. Sam's head rolls toward it.
Dean picks him up by the hair. Holds him over the flayed-open joint of Cas's wing where it protrudes from his spine, holds him over the dwindling geyser of arterial blood spurting weakly from it. Sam sputters and chokes and closes his mouth. Sam sputters and chokes and feels the warm liquid spraying up the open gape of his neck. The coppery taste in the back of his throat.
Dean whispers, You are what you eat
Sam starts to feel himself changing. Starts to feel his face burning. Skin curling off in bits and sizzling away
'Heya Sammy,' says the voice, and it's Lucifer's, it's Lucifer's voice in Sam's mouth.
His body stumbles over to crouch under his neck. Hands grab his head to cradle it until the skin knits back together, until the vertebrae pop back into place.
'Dean,' says Lucifer, 'Dean, Dean, Dean, my clever boy.'
Dean preens at the praise. Dean's blood-spattered lashes flutter down to cast shadows across his face. You told me it would always happen
'I did,' Lucifer says (Sam says). 'And you know what else happened.'
He seizes Dean's head. He wrenches Dean's head around on his spine.
Dean falls to the floor. Dean lies there, his head facing his back.
Lucifer (Sam) steps forward. Lucifer (Sam) presses his foot onto Dean's throat. Feels the bob of his Adam's apple as he begins to laugh beneath his boot. Pushes down, down, down, until after the crunching and the squishing and the dying laughter there is only the whistle of air from the bleeding hole spreading from Dean's middle.
(next time, try to be powered by the word of God.)
Lucifer (Sam) bends to take the First Blade from Dean's hand. In his grip, it turns to silver, smooth and sharp. He sticks it into the hole in Dean's gut, and he cuts it bigger, sticks his hands inside and tugs it open.
A dirt-caked hand reaches out of it, scrabbling. Lucifer's hand (Sam's hand) grips it, closes around it, and begins to pull its owner free.
'Dean was never the key,' a voice says. 'Dean was the gate.'
"I am the hole in things," Dean says. Shoves the comic book across the bed, watches it slide over the slippery edge of the comforter and land on the floor. "Fuck. I hate Morrison's stuff, man."
Sam squints, turning around in his uncomfortable motel chair. "Dude. I thought you loved the--" He crooks his fingers in quotation marks, "King of Orgasmic Rock."
Dean gives him his own version of a Bitch Face."What?"
Sam mimes it back. "What?"
Dean chucks a pillow at him. Then he scoots to the edge of the bed to snag the comic book from the floor and tosses that at Sam, too.
Sam looks at the cover. At the huge empty bat shape and the loud letters DON'T MISS THE EPIC RETURN OF DR. HURT
The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
Hey, says Dean. It's teenage Dean, it's Dean at Sonny's Dean; Sam knows because he's peering out from under the bed with D E A N written in black Sharpie on the masking tape stuck to its end board, he's peering out and tugging on the hem of Sam's jeans, he's singing in a low alto sometimes you got to do what's best for you, and he was pulling on Sam's jeans like he wants to pull Sam under the bed with him, but now he's hanging onto Sam's jeans like he wants Sam to pull him out, you got to
you got to
He's in a bar. He's in a karaoke bar, in a strip club, the poles up and down like bars, like prison cells, and there is a siren on his left, and a siren on his right, and Dean is on a stage under a spotlight; Dean is in his blue flannel and jeans, swinging around a pole like a kid at the park, his eyes burning black and green and black in the light, bellowing
It's my life
It's now or never
The sirens around Sam boo. They shout him down, and throw things at the stage, old livers and five-eighths of virgins. Dean licks condensation from the neck of the beer at his elbow and breathes hard and heavy into the microphone at his mouth and sings louder
I AIN'T GONNA LIVE FOREVER
I JUST WANNA LIVE WHILE I'M ALIVE
The siren next to Sam turns to him. He's got green eyes, and freckles, and a shirt that says I WUV HUGZ.
He says, 'Bon Jovi rocks--on occasion.'
Sam gasps, bolting up in his bed. His heart is pounding. Around him, alarms are blaring. The light spilling in from the hallway is red.
Footsteps are coming down the hall. Something heavy is dragging against the walls.
He scrambles under the bed. Heart beating hard. Blood throbbing in his ears, muscles tensed for the touch of small hands under the bed, for a little boy to grab the hem of his jeans.
"C'mon, Sammy!" shouts Dean's voice. "Let's have a beer!"
Sam trembles under the bed.
The door swings open.
Sam comes to in darkness. Gasping, scrabbling around him. His hands find shapes--the cold curve of an old gas can, the rusty metal of a collapsible shovel, the coarse inner surface of the Impala's trunk.
He reaches for the hidden catch for the weapons compartment.
The trunk flies open. He blinks and raises a hand to block out the cold white glare from the street light above.
Dean is a silhouette above him. He cocks his shoulder, and in the light that spills over it his eyes gleam black.
"Dean--" Sam tries to sit up, still blinking. Freezes when he feels the sudden yank and pull.
Sam looks up at the white devil's trap painted on the inside of the trunk.
His eyes slide over, and in the washed-out light from the streetlamp, he sees the sluggishly bleeding on the inside of Dean's wrist and tastes copper in the back of his mouth.
He raises the back of his hand to swipe across the back of his mouth.
It comes away brownish-red.
His brother smiles white teeth under black eyes. "Get comfy, Sammy," he says. "We've got work to do."
The trunk slams shut.
The screen fades to black.
[Dean begins to whistle.]