Author's Chapter Notes:
Dean gets a visitor and Sam and Ruby are pulled into a game to save him, but can they do it and what will be left to save at the end of it all?
This is a strange little story – you have been warned!
Dean toweled his hair and looked at his face in the mirror hardly recognising the man that was staring back at him, the face before him drawn and pale, the life and the light in his eyes waxing and waning before him. He sighed and closed his eyes, he could feel the ache inside him and he just wanted at this moment to close his eyes and sleep forever.
"Hell getting to sleep for even an hour would be nice."
He turned away from his reflection and walked out of the bathroom, dropping the towel as he went. He stopped dead and felt his heart freeze in his chest at the sight of the person before him.
The smile on the face was warm but the eyes were deathly cold. "I was really disappointed that we never got to finish our little game."
He felt the hands grab his arms and he wanted to scream but his throat refused to give voice to his need. "I've got a new one though that I know that you'll love and guess what? Your brother can get to play in this one too, although he'll have to do better than the last time if he's gonna save you."
Dean could only watch as the hand that gripped his left arm moved to his chest and he felt the burning sensation tear through him. He would have dropped to his knees if the grip on his right arm hadn't been so tight. He felt it as they forced their way into his throat, killing the small cry that had gathered there before it could escape and he felt his inside turn to a liquid fire. The hands released him and he sank to his knees as the voices filled his head and he felt them invade every part of his being, slowly taking the pain that he already felt inside and feeding it until it was all he was. He curled up on the floor and tried to ride the wave of absolute terror that filled him as he realised what had just been done to him.
The demon smiled as he watched the man writhe on the floor at his feet, he opened a bottle of beer that had been sitting on the table in the room and sat down to wait for Sam. -
Sam had left his brother in the room and gone to do the laundry, needing a mundane task to keep his mind off the pain and the hurt that he was feeling for his brother after Dean's confession of guilt. Dean had told Sam what had happened in Hell, what he had did and it was tearing Sam apart to watch Dean struggle to carry that burden and not be able to do anything about it. Sam knew that he needed to find some way to ease his brother's pain before it broke him, but just like when Dean had made the deal, Sam had no idea what to do to save his brother. It was eating him alive inside.
He'd looked up from his thoughts and was walking towards the motel room door when he felt it. He wasn't quite sure what 'it' was but he had felt this way a couple of times now and they had both signaled the presence of the one demon that he hadn't managed to put down yet.
If that particular demon was here then his brother was in trouble.
He saw the clink of light that escaped from the opened motel room door and Sam stopped at the car, put the bag of fresh laundry in, and took Ruby's knife from the trunk. It probably wasn't going to kill Alastair, Sam knew that it was him, but at least it might buy them some time.
He cautiously approached the door and frowned as he pushed it open.
Alastair was sitting at the table in the room, sipping from the beer bottle in his hand and Dean was on the floor, curled in a fetal position, his back to him.
"What did you do to my brother?"
Sam stepped round Alastair realising that he was trapping himself and Dean inside the room, but not really caring at that moment. His only aim was to check if Dean was ok. His brother's eyes were shut, his face a grimace and Sam could see the little trail of sweat and tears on it. He lifted his head and glared at the demon. "What did you do to him?"
Alastair put the bottle down and examined his nails before looking at Sam with a bored expression on his face. "I didn't do anything to him…I simply let some old friends in who wanted to say hi."
Sam looked at him, puzzled at first but then he reached down and pulled Dean's shirt back. There was a burn on his brother's chest…right across the tattoo that protected him from possession. "Why? I can pull whatever is in him right out…but you know that, so why bother?"
"I need you to do something for me and you are so like your brother I knew that torturing you would take to long." Dean moaned as if on cue and Alastair smiled. "I decided it would be much easier to torture your brother instead…and it would even the score as well. I was very disappointed to lose him…and then he hit me…so not polite."
Dean coughed distracting Sam and he watched as and a little trickle of blood escaped down his brother's chin.
"What are you doing to him?" Sam lifted Dean's head onto his lap and gently stroked his hair. Dean's moan changed to a pain filled whimper. Sam shot an angry look at Alastair. "Stop it!"
Alastair ignored the plea. He laid his hands down on his knees, smoothing the wrinkles out in his suit trousers and picking at the little pieces of lint that clung to him. Sam wanted to reach up and strangle him. Alastair looked at him and smiled and Sam wondered if the demon could read his thoughts.
"I want you to use your ability to get some people I want back downstairs where they belong. If you help me…" Alastair lent down and smiled serenely at him. "…I'll leave Dean alone. For now." He went back to examining his nails.
"If you don't stop this right now I'll just drag the demon out of him myself and then…then I'm going to kill you." Sam shifted to free his hand, swinging it back across his back and grabbing the hilt of Ruby's knife.
Maybe if I hurt him bad enough I can exorcise him.
Sam went to stand up but Alastair stopped him with a hand. "So like him…such a brave front even when you know that it's hopeless." Alastair leaned forward to him. "Daddy taught you well." Alastair stood and walked to the door, stopping and turning as he reached it.
"Oh, and I wouldn't try to pull the demon out of him by the way…if you do, it'll kill him…and there's more than one. I fused their souls to your brother's soul…you exorcise them…you exorcise him right alone with them. I'll call you with the name and the place where the first one I want is."
Sam looked at him, fighting down again the urge just to rush him and stick him with the knife. "How will I know what they'll look like?"
"Dean will be able to see them, just like he could before he went to Hell and if not I'm sure your little hell whore will help. You've got seven targets and five days or I'm taking him back and not even the angels will be able to help him this time." Alastair walked back over and pulled Sam to his feet, Dean still held in his grasp. "I'll take him so deep that this time not even God himself will be able to reach him…do I make myself clear?"
"Crystal." Sam spat the word at him. "If Dean dies I'll kill you myself…even if I have to march into Hell to do it…do I make myself clear?"
Alastair made a noise that made Sam's blood chill. "As I said…so like him." Alastair turned and with that he was gone.
Sam pulled Dean up onto the bed and turned his head to face him, pulling his phone from his pocket as he did. "Dean? Dean!" He gently slapped his brother's face and smiled as he opened his eyes. "Hey." Dean's face was etched with pain. "It's gonna be ok, I'm gonna fix this." He rubbed his hand gently over his brother's head as he used the other to call up the name he was looking for on his phone and waited for the call to connect.
"Ruby, I need you….I'll explain when you get here."
He got up and walked to the bathroom. He took a moment to calm himself at the sink, then wet a cloth, walking back through he grabbed one of the bottle of water from the table and then sat down again on the edge of the bed. Dean was curled back in a ball, his knees pulled tightly to his chest, a low moan escaping him. Sam rolled him over to face him and placed the cloth on his head. "Drink some of this." He lifted Dean's head and forced some water into his brother's throat.
Dean's face was deathly pale except for the black rings surrounding his eyes and his breathing was rough and pain filled. Sam brought a cover over him and tucked it round him. The thought of just trying the exorcism ran briefly through his head but he knew that at the moment he was to scared to try, to scared to take the risk.
He jumped as the hand touched his shoulder. "What happened to him?" Sam looked up into Ruby's worried eyes.
"He's possessed but it not a normal possession, Alastair forced this, he said that he had fused the demon's souls to Dean own, that I couldn't exorcise them without Dean going too." Sam felt the words spill over themselves as they left his mouth, the panic starting to grip him sounding in his voice.
"Easy there." Ruby walked round the bed and turned Dean's head to face her. "Did he say why he did this? And souls…as in plural?"
Sam nodded and looked up from Dean into Ruby's face. "He wants to use me, my ability. There are some demons that he wants put back in Hell and he says that if I do it he'll stop this and that if I don't…he'll take Dean back with him."
Ruby looked stunned. "Why does he need you to send them packing back to Hell, he could do that himself?" She turned to Dean and Sam watched the expression that crossed her face. Compassion and a cold realisation showed on the face of the demon as she stared down at his brother. "This so isn't about what you can do or can't do for him. It's a game. He wants to torture Dean, you're just a little added bonus, a side show for his amusement…besides he knows that it'll piss off the angels as well…at you and at him. He's pissed at them for taking his favourite toy, your brother, and not giving it back so now…like any spoiled child he's broken it…so no one can play with it."
"My brother isn't a toy for them to play with or fight over!" Sam reached down and took Dean's hand. "Why would he do that?"
"Because he can…because that's what Alastair does, he plays games. Sick, twisted, torture games. He enjoys it, gets off on it...and he's good at it." Sam so didn't like the pity that showed in Ruby's eyes as she looked at his brother again.
"Can you help Dean?" Sam's voice broke as he spoke.
Ruby lent over and touched his face. "I'll try. First we need to know what we're dealing with." She dropped her hand from Sam to Dean's face.
"Dean?" Her voice was soft and low as she spoke. "Dean, it's Ruby. I need you to fight this Dean. I need you to talk to me, tell me how many there are with you, to help you, can you do that Dean, can you tell me how many there are?"
Dean's face twisted with pain again and he cried out. Ruby tightened her grip on his face. "Dean, I need to know."
They watched as Dean's eye flicked opened and Sam had to look away as the green eyes of his brother flipped to the black of the demon's inside.
"I'm sorry, Dean can't come out just now and play, he's been a very naughty boy and I'm afraid that he's being punished for it…but if you'd like to leave a message for him…." The voice tailed off into a strangled laugh and Dean sat up and grabbed Sam's jacket. "Don't worry, we won't kill him, that's not in the rules, but believe me, by the time we're finished with him…he'll wish we had."
"Who are you?" Sam dropped his eyes as he spoke, he couldn't look at Dean's face knowing that this thing look back at him with it just now wasn't his brother.
The demon inside Dean was delighted by Sam's distress, this was going to be more fun than he had imagined and he had imagined a lot since Alastair had told him of his little plan.
"Ask your brother…he knows who we are, he knows why we're here and he knows what we're going to do to him."
A little chortle escaped Dean's lips and then he gave a scream of pain and collapsed back on the bed, eyes closing and his body going limp.