last01standing: ([BtVS] Hush)
[personal profile] last01standing
Title: The Shadow Men [10/11]
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Kripke owns SPN, not me
Summary: The campus of Stanford lies in ruins. The veil between hell and earth is getting thinner by the day and the only thing worse then the fires are the mysterious men emerging from the flames. [AU, apocafic]
Previous Parts:1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 



THE SHADOW MEN
CHAPTER 10


Sam stared cross-eyed down the barrel of the gun. “Dean,” he said. “What the hell is going on?”

The gun was shaking. Something like terror crossed Dean’s features and not for the first time, Sam realized how close he was to coming unhinged. How close he’d been since Sam had first met him. “That wasn’t human,” Dean said. “Was this part of the plan?” His voice cracked. “Make me think I’m out? Make me trust you? Well, I figured it out this time and I’d kill you before I let you go through with it.”

“I’m not a demon!” Sam said, indignantly. But he caught sight of the shining bullets lying on the concrete and something twisted in his stomach. Dean was right, that wasn’t human. That was unnatural just like Andy’s gift, just like Webber’s. Telekinesis or at least something like it. Somehow it was different then just catching glimpses of the future. Infinitely more dangerous. “Dean, you’ve got to trust me.”

“Trust you,” Dean barked out a laugh. “Trust you, that’s rich. Tell me something, Sammy, did old yellow eyes send you?”

“Yellow eyes,” Sam repeated. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“The yellow-eyed demon,” Dean said slowly. “What, do you think I’m stupid? Did you think I wouldn’t figure it out?”

“Figure what out?” Sam asked. “It’s me, Dean. It’s Sam. We’ve been traveling together for weeks. I’m not working with anyone but you.”

“You’re a demon,” Dean hissed, pressing a hand to his forehead as if trying to keep the voices out. “You’re a demon and I never got out did I? I’m still there and you’ve been fucking with my head.”

“You’re out,” Sam said. He tried to keep his voice calm but the gun was twisting his voice into higher and higher regions. “Dean, you got out.”

“Shut up,” Dean roared. “I don’t want to hear it any more! You’re lying. You’re lying and you’re not ever going to get to Johnny.”

His fingers tensed on the trigger and Sam saw his life flashing before his eyes, the letter reading Samuel J. Winchester, we are pleased to inform you that you have been... and the white flash of Jessica’s smile and Uncle Bobby on the hospital bed, writing in pain.

He didn’t hear the crack of the gun, because Dean didn’t pull the trigger but suddenly, he felt an unbelievable heat building up all around him. He opened his eyes and noticed that the roof was on fire, showering smoking cinders all around them. Dean was screaming, but that wasn’t the worst part of it.

Dean’s face looked almost like it was melting. Twisting into darkness and insubstantial shadows. His clothes were disintegrating into darkness, his arms barely looked real anymore. The gun clamored to the ground. Hell, Sam realized. This was Hell sneaking up all around them and trying to pull Dean back down into the abyss.

“Dean!” Sam screamed, lurching toward his feat in a blur of motion. He tried to grab Dean’s hand, fought to pull him back out, but it was like grasping at smoke. His face had lost all form. He didn’t look like Dean anymore, just an amorphous figure, like watching clouds on a sunny day. “Dean,” he screamed again. “Dean, you have to let me help you!”

He grasped for a hand again and this time made contact with it. The texture was all wrong though. It felt like trying to grab water, undeniably there but impossible to hold. “You’ve got to trust me!”

The hand in his seemed to solidify, like water freezing into ice only a thousand times warmer. Around them the warehouse had started burning as Hell seeped into the edges around the real world.

And then he had it: a hand. Dean’s hand, solid and real and there. Sam pulled with all his might and Dean started taking shape again, coalescing into flesh and blood from a cloud of shadows and pain. Sam didn’t let go. He dragged Dean through the smoldering walls of the dilapidated warehouse as a glass window burst outward from the heat of the flames. The door out was burning but Sam didn’t slow down, just lowered his shoulder and bulled straight to the wall and into the green sky and abandoned streets of Guthrie, Oklahoma. He shoved Dean into the passenger’s seat of the impala and threw himself into the driver’s seat, fumbling for the keys in his pocket. The engine turned over twice before starting full force. Sam shifted into reverse and slammed his foot down on the accelerator, tearing out of the alleyway and onto his street as Highway to Hell blared out of the radio on top volume.

In the passenger’s seat, Dean was shaking. Full body tremors that scared Sam more then any of the monsters he’d ever seen.

He put Guthrie in the rearview mirror, breaking every highway rule he knew, tearing across country on dingy little back roads until, almost an hour later Dean said, “Pull over.”

“What?” Sam asked.

“I said pull over,” Dean’s voice rose in volume. “I need to get in the trunk.”

Sam clenched his jaw but complied, gliding the impala toward the shoulder and the guide rail and putting it in park. Dean pushed the door open and scrambled out into the fresh air.

It was just past twilight and raining lightly, the distant light from the setting sun only serving to bathe the abandoned highway in a dull green glow. Sam pushed his door open as well, circling around the car just in time to slam the trunk back shut as Dean tried to pry it open. He turned to face Sam, frustration etched into his features. “Seriously, Sam, what the hell?”

“You really think I’m going to let you into a trunk full of weapons not even two hours after you pulled a gun on me?”

“Look,” Dean said. “I’m sorry. Thanks for pulling me back out. I get that you’re on my side. You’re probably no a demon and you save my ass back there, but you’re going to have to trust me on this.”

“Trust you?” Sam sputtered. He flayed his arms out wide, flaring his nostrils. “You want me to trust you after this? Dean, I don’t know a thing about you! In fact, the only think I know for sure is that you spent time in hell.”

Dean shook his head, his face only dimly visible in the sun’s dying greenish light. “Don’t go there, Sam.”

“And why shouldn’t I go there, Dean?” Sam shifted his feet. He was within striking distance from Dean but not close enough to earn the full brunt of a punch if this actually came to blows. “Why should I trust you if you earned yourself a spot in hell?”

“You say that like you think only bad people go to hell.”

“So what,” Sam snorted. The rain was picking up, plastering his hair to his face. “I’m supposed to believe you were some kind of saint.”

“I don’t care what you believe,” Dean said. “It’s really none of your business what I did.”

“But it is my business!” Sam exploded, pounding a fist into the impala’s trunk and sending a rack of pain shooting up his arm. “It’s been my business ever since I stopped Mason from putting an end to your sorry ass! So tell me!”

“I sold my soul, all right?” Dean roared. His face was wet. Sam couldn’t tell if it was from the rain or tears. “I made a deal with some demonic son of a bitch and I gave up my soul and I’d do it again. Christ Sam, I wouldn’t even think before I’d make the same deal over.”

Sam felt the anger seeping out of his bones. He’d heard of crossroads deals in his epic research on demons back at Uncle Bobby’s place. A demon who would offer you ten years with your heart’s desire in exchange for your soul and damnation. “When did you make the deal?” Sam asked. “When you were fifteen?”

Dean barked out a harsh laugh. “Didn’t even give me ten years. I got a day to set my affairs straight and that was it. Can’t even remember what I did.”

“What did you ask for?” Sam couldn’t quite look the older man in the eyes. Couldn’t phantom anything worth forfeiting your soul. Couldn’t contemplate an eternity in hell for just a wish.

“I had a kid,” Dean said listlessly. The rain pouring down around him was almost louder then his voice. “His name was Johnny. He was six months old and I walked in on a demon in his nursery set on taking him away. Wanted him to be part of some demon army. So I made a deal. My life, my soul and Johnny grows up untouched. Off limits for this fucker. And I’d do it again.”

“How long ago was this?” Sam asked. “Have you tried tracking him down?”

Dean let out a wry laugh that was almost lost in the distant crackle of thunder. “No. I can’t. I don’t know how long it was. That’s the thing about hell. Just about everything gets burned out of you sooner or later.”

“Come on, you’ve got to know something. There’s got to be something we can do.”

“There’s nothing we can do,” Dean said. He bent over and unlocked the trunk, pulling it open. He started rooting through the mess of weapons. “Nothing at all. I don’t know where the kid is. I don’t know how old he is. I can’t even tell you for sure how long I was down there. I don’t even know what my last name is or if he even kept his. He’s better off without me anyway. No one wants an ex-resident of hell for a dad anyway. It’s like saying my old man was in jail only worse. I’m damaged goods.”

Sam was quiet for a long time, unwilling to get back into the car, unwilling to let that moment pass without comment. He just stood there in the pouring rain, watching Dean dig through the trunk. “You’re not damaged goods,” he said finally but even as he did, he thought of the sheer fury in his face as he broke Webber’s neck. “I’m sure your kid would have been happy to have you as a dad.”

“Yeah, well,” Dean huffed, coming up from the trunk with a small wooden box. “It’s too late for that now, isn’t it? The only thing I can do for Johnny now is kill that yellow-eyed son of a bitch before he has a chance to catch up with him.”

“Yellow-eyed?” Sam repeated. There was something twisting in his stomach as he thought of Andy. See it’s this yellow-eyed man, he told me I was special.

“Yeah,” Dean said. “Johnny’s six month old and that thing’s crouching over him, doing something to him.” He was shaking with rage. “I swear to God, I’m going to kill that thing. I don’t care if it sends me back to hell. That thing’s not going to get its hands on him.”

“Dean, this yellow-eyed guy. Before he died, Andy told me he had people looking for us. Something about a gun. A colt.”

There was a wolfish look in Dean’s eyes as his fingers latched on a small metal box dug out of the depths of the trunk. Under everything else. “The way I figure it,” Dean said. “I know every single weapon in here. But there were a few things in here before I started loading her up. This was one of them.” He held the box up for Sam to see. It didn’t look like much to his eyes, a small, black metal box with a simple key lock on the front and a few symbols he didn’t recognize on the side. “I thought it was a curse box at first,” Dean explained. “Now I’m not so sure. Look,” he pointed to on of the symbols etched into the side.

“That’s a Devil’s trap,” Sam said, awed.

“It’s a supernatural lockbox,” Dean confirmed. “No way in hell is a demon getting into this. If this gun is this dangerous in a demon’s hand, you can bet this is the best way to hide it.”

Sam nodded, excitement mounting in his stomach, that heady feeling of adrenaline mixed with danger. This box could hold the key to everything, the reasons for what had gone wrong with his life. “We should get back in the car,” Sam observed. “We’re going to get it wet.”

Dean nodded his agreement and they got back into the impala, dripping water all over the seats. If it were any other time, Sam though, Dean would have been appalled at the damage to his upholstery, but now he was too focused on the task at hand, picking the lock with a few pieces of wire he’d begun to assemble through the past month.

After what seemed like eternity when the sun had disappeared completely, leaving no light but the interior of the impala, the box clicked and cracked itself open. “I’ve got it.”

Sam leaned in close as Dean took the lid off the box almost reverently. Inside was a gun. It was small and compact with a wooden handle and symbols etched into the barrel, snaking all around. In the case next to it were three silver bullets with a similar design. There were slots open for other bullets but it didn’t look like anything had been there for a long time. What caught Sam’s eyes was a yellowed letter that fluttered out into Dean’s lap.

Dean grabbed it, unfolding it like it was an ancient relic, in danger of shattering into a thousand pieces. He read it over to himself, face paling. “What does it say, Dean?” Sam asked.

Hands shaking, Dean handed him the letter. Sam had to bend in close to read the smudged handwriting in the dim light.



“John Winchester?” Sam asked. His voice cracked. The dates were right. Uncle Bobby had taken him in only about three days after that. He knew the date even if he didn’t know the circumstances. “You don’t think?”

“Winchester ain’t exactly the most common name around,” Dean said. “This must have been right before I—“

“It sounds like you might have known my dad,” Sam said. His grip had tightened exponentially on the letter. He’d never had a tangible connection to his father. Never known. “I mean he trusted you enough to send you this, right? You might have hunted together.”

“I. Don’t. Know.” Dean hissed. “I just—I don’t remember.” His hands were shaking. “You think maybe that’s where I used to live? Lawrence, Kansas?”

“That’s where I found you the first time,” Sam said. “Maybe we shouldn’t have blown out of town so quickly. Maybe—“

Dean picked up the gun delicately. “You think this works? You really think it’s possible for a gun to kill a demon?”

“I don’t know,” Sam said. “I mean there are a lot of things I didn’t think were possible before a month ago and if this demon’s coming after us, it may be the only defense we’ve got.”

“Sam,” Dean said quietly. “This same demon came after my kid years ago and now it’s all messed up in psychic kids and the end of the world and I mean the ages are right. You don’t think?”

Sam could hear the unspoken question, the tremor in his voice. You don’t think Johnny’s one of those kids, do you? You don’t think he’s like Webber and his mind control or like you with your freaky-ass visions.

“Would it really matter if he was?” Sam asked.

Dean was quiet for a long, listening to the rain beat on the roof of the impala. “No,” he said finally. “No, it wouldn’t.” He cracked a smile. “Besides you’re one of those psychic freaks and it seems like you’ve turned out all right.”

“Jerk,” Sam mumbled, swatting at him with an open palm.

“Bitch,” Dean answered, grinning.

“What do we do know then?” Sam asked. “This feels like a lead.”

“Lawrence, Kansas,” Dean said. “sounds like that’s where everything started.”

“Lawrence it is,” Sam said, turning the key in the impala’s ignition.

His phone started ringing. Dean, already on edge nearly jumped out of his seat at the sound, head jerking side to side trying to locate the source of the noise. Sam fought the urge to laugh at him. Cell phones hadn’t been in use in the eighties and Dean still wasn’t used to his ring tone coming out of nowhere. “Relax,” he said, pulling his cell out of his pocket to check the caller. He frowned. “It’s Chris.”

Flipping the phone open, Sam brought it to his ear. “Chris,” he said. “What’s up?”

“There’s a gun pointed at my head right now,” Chris said without preamble.

“What?” Sam asked. Chris had a bizarre sense of humor sometimes, but this was ridiculous.

“There is a gun,” Chris repeated, “pointed at my head. Mason’s flipped a gasket. He’s here demanding that you and Dean get here right now or he’s going to kill me.”

“Wait,” Sam said. “You’re joking, right. Mason’s a crazy son of a bitch but he’s a hunter. He doesn’t hurt people.”

“Tell that to him, Winchester,” Chris growled. “What part of—“

There was abrupt silence from the other end of the line, nothing but the crackling hiss of static and then Mason’s gruff, distinct voice. “Long time no see, Sammy.”

“What the hell are you playing at, Mason!” Sam roared. “Chris has nothing to do with any of this!”

“I don’t want to hurt your friend,” Mason said. “But believe me, if I have to, I won’t even think twice. Dean is dangerous and every second he’s out there, more people will die. I’ve seen what the shadow men will do. So do me a favor, Sammy-boy. Bring me your friend Dean before I do something rash.”

“Mason,” Sam started.

“See you soon, Sam,” Mason said.

The dial tone was impossibly loud to his ears. Sam’s hands were shaking as he brought the phone down. Dean looked at him from the passenger’s seat, still clutching the letter. “What’s wrong Sam?”

“Chris is in trouble,” Sam said. “Mason’s got her. He wants you dead.”

“Well then all the more reason to head in the other direction,” Dean sounded rushed, breathless. “Let’s go to Lawrence, Sam. We’re close. I can feel it.”

Part of Sam wanted to agree with him. Wanted to find answers: what happened to his father, what happened to Jessica, why he was getting visions. But he couldn’t do that for Chris. It was his fault she had been dragged into this mess. “No,” said Sam. “No, I’ve got to get back to Singer’s Salvage.”

“You realize we’re walking straight into a trap, right?”

“I don’t care,” Sam answered.

At this point it wasn’t like he had many friends left.

_______________________________________________________________________


OMG guys, only one more chapter to go. I'm excited even thought I already know what's going to happen. I'll be posting the final chapter on Sunday morning.

Hey look: 11 |

(no subject)

11/9/08 23:26 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] redrikki.livejournal.com
Wow is this time line strange. As much as I don't want this series to end, I'll be happy when all is finally revealed. By the way, Mason is totally possessed by the YED, right? Or maybe Meg.

(no subject)

14/9/08 15:35 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Yes the timeline is strange. =) I don't want to comment on aything else because I just posted the final chapter...

(no subject)

12/9/08 00:44 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] tabaqui.livejournal.com
Ah ha ha, cliffhanger!!
And just - crazy, crazy stuff. Hell in Oklahoma!!
:)

(no subject)

14/9/08 15:35 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Cliffhangers are the best!

(no really, I love them. Everone gets so antsy about them!)

(no subject)

14/9/08 16:40 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] tabaqui.livejournal.com
I really do enjoy them, too - if your season wraps up in such a way that they could just end it right there, that's not particularly interesting. I don't like really *cheesy* cliffhangers, but a good, solid one will get me every time.

(no subject)

15/9/08 11:35 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] sophiap.livejournal.com
Oh, I love the twistiness of this. For a moment, I thought you were going to an "I'm my own grandpa" place, but apparently not. (heads off to read last chapter)