sequel to: With a Bang and The Aftershocks
Rating: SPN/DA Crossover - PG - Gen – AU in the year 2020
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & DA characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Sam POV - Dean POV. Everything was
Sam could still feel the steady drip of the rain falling on his face even after it had faded away.
The awareness of cold damp clothes and pain flooded back with every beat of his heart, his mind fighting to remain with the physical even as he was doing all he could to leave it behind. But he could still hear something out there in the dark.
It was his brother’s voice.
I’m right here, Sam. I’m right here.
He could still feel the crushing pressure of someone holding his hand. There was another person there too, holding his other hand just as tightly. Sam wished he could speak to explain that he’d need them to find his way home again, but he had a feeling that Dean knew that already. The fierce grip on his hand kept him focused, his brother’s voice like a ray of light from the other side of a keyhole. It was faint but it sparkled in the black. If he could keep it in sight he could follow it back and its shine would guide him…
There was no sensation of movement.
He could feel no harsh wind on his skin or the noise of passage roaring in his ears, but Sam knew he was plummeting silently away into a deep vast nothing, and for the first time he allowed himself to wonder what would happen if he fell too far.
Can you hear me, Sammy? I‘m here.
Oh God, whatever you do Dean, please don’t let go…
There was no fire or ice, but he understood he had traveled a long way and in a direction that wasn’t downwards, upwards or to any side. He hadn’t been sure what would happen when he first decided to find Alec this way. But now when he had stretched out as far as he could, he saw that it still hadn’t been enough. His son’s soul was beyond his reach, far enough that no matter how he strained he could come only as close as to a star in the sky. With a soundless cry in the void, Sam allowed the tether to his body to begin to fray, stretching further and further and further until he could reach with all his might towards his son’s distant flickering glow.
Dean’s voice began to fade away along with the touch of his hand. Sam wondered if some lag of time had passed without his knowing, because his brother sounded different. His voice sounded less frightened and more sad…
You have to come back now, Sam. Come back.
Not yet, Dean. Not yet…
When the very last strand of the link snapped free, Sam suddenly started to tumble towards the weak glow he had been chasing. It grew larger and brighter as he drew closer, crashing down like a comet straying too close to a sun. Lifting his phantom limbs, Sam tried to shield his face as the velocity began to rip him away layer by layer, stripping him away until all that was left was the silent scream of his fear--
Sam opened his eyes.
There was a scarlet sky above and the sluggish stir of a hot and humid breeze. Looking at the red glare of a bloated sunset on the horizon, he knew he'd been here once before in a dream when the fields had been dark with night. Standing up slowly, he brushed the dry dirt from his hands and looked in every direction. The corn had been decimated by the close of the season, every foot of it, withered down the ground and bent at the stalks. Each row was facing the garish light like countless bodies of the dead laid down one after another and another and another...
The empty miles stretched out to infinity all around, but Sam knew he wasn’t alone here.
He saw only one variance to the flat landscape and the rise of the small hill lay far away in the distance. But one mile or a thousand was meaningless in a place where nothing ended and nothing began. Sam willed the many miles to pass under his feet as quickly as he could, occasionally touching down lightly on the cracked soil until he landed at the base of the hill with its one withered tree.
Alec was sitting underneath its black branches.
“It’ll all grow back,” Alec told him. “It grows back every year.”
Sam swallowed hard at the fields and wondered how many times Alec had seen them waste away and die. Ben had said time passed strangely in this prison he had created for the stolen souls. Briefly wondering how long his own body had been abandoned, Sam pushed the thought aside when he realized he didn‘t care.
“Alec,” he heard his voice rasp from his throat as if he were made flesh and blood. “It’s me.”
“Go away.” Alec said. “You’re not real.”
Sam sat down beside him.
“You can’t fool me,“ Alec was rocking back and forth. “You can’t make me think anything. You can’t do anything because you‘re not even here--”
“It’s okay,” Sam touched his trembling shoulder. “It’s over now.”
“There’s no way out of here,” Alec was staring at the hand on his shoulder. “This is all there is.”
“I’ve come to bring you home, Alec.”
“Yeah, Alec. It’s me. I promise it‘s me.”
Sam could feel Alec’s thoughts as vividly as Alec could feel his. There was the edge of some madness there, Sam realized, an unhinged look in the green eyes from his time spent in isolation. Years, decades, Sam had no idea and he didn’t know how to even ask how many nights had been created in this perpetual fall of twilight. But he could also sense Alec’s mind was still whole, and it was as scattered and frantic as the night he ran away into the corn.
“Ben sent me here,” Alec was looking out at setting sun again. “He sent me here to hide me from you.”
Sam let his mind dilate wide open so his son could see and understand anything he wanted. He closed his eyes as Alec swept through his thoughts, the images of the gate, of the flames and the church in the rain. Sam showed him everything that had happened in the last five days and it had all started with Alec waiting in the backyard for his father to come down the porch stairs.
Sam stood and pulled Alec up with him.
“You ruined everything,” Alec dully repeated what he had said as the memory surfaced. “You ruined it.”
“I know,” Sam said softly. “I know I did.”
“You wiped my memory because you thought I couldn’t handle it.”
Sam wanted to argue but his son was right.
“You don’t know what I can handle,” Alec’s voice shook. “You have no idea.”
Looking at his son, Sam felt an unexpected surge of pride for the man standing beside him. He abruptly comprehended that Alec’s life in Manticore hadn’t dismantled him like it had his brother Ben. It was humbling to finally understand that the suffering had fortified Alec, creating him and leaving him on the other side of hardship with something close to a smile.
“Are we really leaving?” Alec asked.
“Then I want you to do it one more time.”
“Do… Do what?”
“I want you to make me forget this place,” Alec looked out over the endless fields. “I want to forget everything that happened after Ben sent me here.”
Sam felt grief thud in his chest although his heart was somewhere else far away. For everything his son could handle, there were also some things that he couldn’t.
“Are you sure, Alec?”
“I want you to forget this place too. Can you do that?”
“Wait,” Alec’s hands came out to grip Sam’s arms, suddenly afraid that his father would vanish without him. “W-When will I see you again?”
Sam gently smiled and gathered Alec close in his arms. Shutting his eyes, he felt Alec shut his too, the dismal world around them eclipsing into nonexistence as they left it forever.
“Count to three, Alec.”
At first Dean didn’t know why he had put his brother and nephew together in the same room.
He told himself it was because it was easier to watch over them that way, but he also thought it might help some how. Back in Seattle he remembered how when Sam and Alec had first met their energy had waxed and waned just from being nearby or apart. After that first day had gone by and Sam hadn’t woken up, Dean had stuck a chair right at the foot of the bed where both of them silently lay. He couldn’t stand it when Bobby covered their faces with the sheets, but he understood it kept the light and bugs away.
He talked to Sam sometimes when Bobby wasn‘t around. Sometimes he held his hand and told him what a fucking asshole he was. For hiding shit from him. For not trusting him. For being a selfish bastard that always did whatever he wanted. For leaving him alone here and going away.
Dean hated to cry but it felt as good as punching in a wall.
When a week had gone by he started to sleep somewhere besides the chair. And he was going to do the same thing tonight eventually. But for some reason when the clock had started to creep towards dawn he still hadn’t gotten up to find his bed.
“You in here, Dean?”
Bobby shuffled in behind him, yawning and handing him a cup of coffee. Dean took the mug and listened to the old man settle down in the more comfortable chair in the corner by the window. Staring at the still forms under the drape of sheets, Dean suddenly decided to say what had been on his mind ever since that gate had winked out right before his eyes.
“Where do you think Ben went?” Dean asked quietly.
Bobby shrugged before he let out a deep sigh.
“I don’t know,” he answered. “I sure don’t know.”
Dean gulped the coffee and let it burn the back of his throat. He wasn’t sure if the man was lying to him for his sake, but he thought maybe the hunter was being honest. They had both seen the way to hell a few times in their lives and what Ben had stepped through hadn’t looked like what they knew. And if that was true, then maybe his brother hadn’t vanished into nowhere either.
Maybe Alec was actually somewhere out there to be found.
“Would you look at that.” Bobby muttered.
Dean turned towards the window but Bobby was looking at the bed.
Something had changed.
Quickly getting to his feet, Dean yanked back the sheet and was confused when all he saw was what he'd been staring at for the past week. The still pale bodies that weren’t corpses made him want to cover them back up again as fast as he could. But Bobby had moved to his side, letting out a hoarse laugh and clapping Dean on the back hard enough to almost knock them both over. And that’s when Dean finally saw what the old man already had.
Sam was holding Alec’s hand.
Alec suddenly wheezed in a breath, and his eyes fluttered open.
“Holy shit,” Dean blinked in shock. “Alec? A-Are you--”
“…T-Three.” Alec croaked.
“What’d he say?” Bobby asked.
“I-I dunno,” Dean was trying to lift the kid’s head. “Bobby, get some water, I think he‘s--”
Sam abruptly started violently coughing, groaning in between choking and trying to draw in another lungful of air. They were awake. Both of them. They looked like hell warmed over, but they were undoubtedly and completely awake.
“Sammy? Hey, you okay?”
His brother took a moment to focus on him, but his eyes had turned back to the bright vivid color of the living again. Sam’s skin was even losing the sickly cast and red was starting to burn on his cheeks as his heart started pumping full steam.
“I-I found ‘im, Dean,” Sam breathed. “I found ‘im.”
Dean felt Alec’s body spasm and sat him up just in time for the kid to start puking over the side of the bed.
“Oh man!” Dean smiled up at Bobby’s stunned but equally as pleased face. “Is that not the most beautiful sound you’ve ever heard?”
Glad to see that Sam seemed strong enough to yak on his own, Dean watched as Alec’s white skin started to change to something close to normal too. In breathless disbelief, he didn’t know what to do but take the towels Bobby was handing him and wipe the kid’s mouth.
Alec was panting and blinking in dazed confusion at the mess on the floor under his face. “Wha-What happened?”
Having absolutely no idea how to answer that question, Dean squeezed him hard enough to make him sick again.
“Let’s get him in the tub, Dean,” Bobby prompted. “He’s still as cold as ice.”
“Right,” Dean grabbed at the blankets that had been useless before. “Sit tight, Alec. Everything is gonna be fine. Sam, don‘t get up you idiot, you were just dead for an entire week--”
Sam swayed on his feet and had to take a few unsteady steps to the wall to brace himself. “A-A week?”
“Yeah,” Dean felt like laughing. “A fucking week.”
“What… where… what happened?” Sam clutched his head. “I was in the church, and Ben went through the gate and… and then…”
Dean considered his brother a moment before deciding not to play the repeat game right now. He’d been around enough injury and trauma to know that the big explanations worked a lot better after everyone had a chance to recover. And whatever the hell Sam had just done and gone was probably enough to make anyone’s memory a little hazy.
He could hear the tub filling.
It didn’t take much to shove Sam back into bed, and not much at all to get Alec to his feet. Dean clenched his jaw as he realized how much weight the kid had lost. But Alec was getting more lucid by the second and to Dean’s overwhelming relief, slightly annoyed.
“Dean? What are you doing…”
“Just a bath, Alec,” he said. “Got to warm you up a little.”
“What happened? Did something happen?”
“You’ve been away for a while.”
“A-Away?” Alec flinched when he was lowered into the steaming water. "Where'd I go?"
“For h-how-how..” Alec’s teeth started chattering. “…how l-long?”
“D-Did you-you feed my cat?”
Dean did start laughing then.
And he didn’t give a shit at how crazy he sounded either.
go to part 10 *Completed*