A/N: This is my first fanfic ever. I've had the idea for this story floating around for a while, but now I'm finally putting it on paper. My plans include a complete story, so more will be on its way soon. Reviews are welcome. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own the boys, all that belongs to the Supernatural peeps.
The first thing I noticed was the cold. Covered in snow, my whole body was racked with shivers. I raised my right hand from my side and let the snow run through my fingers and down my bare arm.
I'd been cold in Hell. Fuck, I'd lost body parts from frostbite before Lucifer grew them back. But he'd never got the consistency of snow quite right. Though the Cage was whatever he wanted it to be, I guess that he'd been in the warm climes of Hell so long that he couldn't remember what snow felt like. At first, lifetimes ago, I had been confused that I was freezing to death from what essentially felt like bits of Styrofoam.
The difference ceased to matter quickly, though, because I died either way.
But now, the perfect snowflakes against my goose-pimpled skin made a smile quirk my mouth for the first time in eons. Against a backdrop of the night sky, complete with perfect crescent moon, it was the prettiest setting for torture yet. The wind whistled through the barren trees, ruffling the snow around my body.
I wanted to hope that I was impossibly escaped from the pit, but I found it much more likely that Lucifer had finally perfected his recipe for cold.
Escaped or not, I had to move before I became an ice cube. Wrenching my body into a sitting position and then standing was no easy feat. I was cold enough for my motor functions to be off and my joints were still aching from my last round of being torn limb from limb.
Once I stood, I looked at my naked body in disappointment. Dean had described his new body in detail when he'd risen from Hell and I didn't match any of it. Although Lucifer healed my wounds before starting the next round of torture, he liked to leave faint pink scars as reminders.
"A roadmap of where I've been," he whispered, cutting ribbons of flesh off my back.
Lines still marred every inch of the skin I could see, meaning I wasn't free of the Cage as I had dared to dream. Without even a sigh to express the feeling of freshly crushed hope, I blundered through the knee deep snow, directionless.
Although I knew I'd die whether I stayed lying down or walked on, Lucifer had never defeated my will to fight. Sometimes he tried hard to destroy my sense of self and through those decades of abuse I barely held on. Most of the time, though, he enjoyed playing with a pet uselessly struggled.
I trudged up a hill, naked and cold. The clothing I'd worn to jump into the Cage had fallen to bits long ago. Lucifer enjoyed watching me face any manner of environment without even the thin protection of a layer of cotton, but he'd occasionally give me something to wear. Only to make the humiliation of stripping all the more keen.
I shuddered and pulled myself to the present. I kept my arms folded in front of my body and my head down in an attempt to ward off the chill of the wind trying to knock me off my feet. Because of that, I didn't notice the light until I was already down the other side of the hill.
Not twenty feet ahead of me was a brightly glowing, green sign that pronounced the presence of the cleanest bathrooms in Rothsay, MN. I frowned in bemusement. Lucifer liked the setting of his torture to be as removed from civilization as possible. Deserts, glaciers, jungles. Never a convenience store in Minnesota.
I was approaching from the front. Only one car, a rusty blue pickup truck, was in the lot and I could see the closed sign from where I was standing.
If someone was in there, like the truck suggested, my naked and scarred self wouldn't inspire much trust. Forcing my shivering body to walk again, I crossed the old road and made my way to the back door.
Hoping I wouldn't have to break a window, I turned the handle. The door opened easily. Thank god for small town trust. I staggered in as quietly as I could, closing the door behind me.
No lights were on, but the moonlight through the windows illuminated a standard general store. Food on the shelves, movies along the walls, and there. Racks of clothes on the other end of the shop.
Still shivering, though the store was quite a bit warmer than outside, I padded my way over. Grabbing the largest sizes and ripping off the tags with my teeth, I pulled on some sweats, a t-shirt, and a hoodie with the Twins logo on the front, all black. The sweats were long enough, but I had to tighten the waistband as far as it would go. The t-shirt was a little too tight and the sweater's sleeves were a couple inches too short, but already I could feel my shaking body warm up.
A surprised gasp from the other side of the store, near the register, made me look up. She couldn't have been more than sixteen, her wide eyes staring at the stranger in her no longer empty store.
I raised my hands in a conciliatory manner. Now that I was looking that direction I could see the door tucked away behind the counter, probably leading to an office where the girl had been. I cursed inwardly for not checking the store before dressing.
"Wha-what do you want?" The girl stammered, stepping back around the counter.
"Nothing," I said. Or tried to. My latest session with the devil downstairs left my voice weak and rasping. My words sounding like an animalistic grunt.
I cleared my throat and tried again. "Sorry," I whispered. "I'm leaving now."
The girl's hands fluttered towards the phone on the wall and I grimaced. Reality or not, I couldn't let her call for help. I'm sure Lucifer's version of the police wouldn't simply handcuff me and ask some questions.
Slowly, I took a step in her direction. When she didn't respond, other than to keep staring, I took a couple more, keeping my hands where she could see them.
Once I was close enough, I leapt over the counter and grabbed the girl's hands in one move. She only had time to let out a frightened squeak before I knocked her hard enough on the head for her to lose consciousness without any permanent damage.
"Sorry," I said in my unfamiliar voice as I quickly bound her arms to chair behind the counter. I patted down her pockets and palmed her car keys, presumably to the old Ford out front.
Needing to leave before she woke up, I grabbed a newspaper, some protein bars, and a couple bottles of water as I ran out the front door, which wasn't locked either. As I ran back into the cold, crisp air, I realized I hadn't stolen any shoes. I glanced from my bare feet in the snow to the store and decided not to risk staying any longer.
As old as the truck looked, it fired up with one try. I turned the heat on as high as it could go and looked at the local newspaper. The front page proclaimed the success of the county's high school football team, but I was more interested in the date.
January 27, 2011. I'd jumped into the Cage only eight months ago? Scrubbing a chapped hand across my face, I tried not to consider how many years I had spent in Hell. Might still be spending in Hell, actually, though my doubts about that were growing. No matter how realistic he made his sessions, Lucifer never had the patience to wait this long before actually starting his games.
I tossed the paper onto the passenger seat along with my other pilfered goods and opened the glove compartment. Some pink notes and other pieces of trash fell out, as if the teenager had cleaned the truck in a hurry and shoved her garbage where no one could see it. Amid the mess there was a roadmap and I opened it.
Rothsay, Minnesota, was hardly even a speck on the map, but I noticed its close vicinity to Sioux Falls. Without meaning to, I remembered the feeling of snapping my fingers and causing my surrogate father's neck to snap with a brutal crunch. I shuddered as if I were still freezing out in the snow, shoving my guilt down deep.
I shifted gears and started driving toward South Dakota. In four hours I'd be at Bobby's and inhabited or not, it should still provide a safe place to take shelter while I tried to figure out what was real.