( & continued in sequel Indoctrination)
Author: Mink & Jink
Rating: R for Violence! - hurt!Dean - abducted!Dean - Gen
Spoilers: General to all aired ep in USA
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
He leaned into his brother's shoulder and breathed, his bound hands gripping what he could reach of Sam's shirt.
"Dean, jeez y-your hands."
His hands were carefully lifted and inspected.
Dean knew they were filled with slivers of glass, the circulation cut off long ago by the plastic cords. He’d worry about all of that at a later date. Right at this moment, he was perfectly fine laying half awake against the warm collar of Sam’s jacket. It wasn't a place he found himself very often but now with strength and focus rapidly ebbing, he was silently grateful that Sam's body took all his weight like a wall.
"You should-should take the rest of the tour." Dean murmured, semi aware that he might not be making any sense. All that mattered was that Hell stopped here. They could go, they could get into the car and leave right now—
Dean looked up from where he leaned on Sam's shoulder and saw the man who had demolished half the building and a television set using him as the wrecking ball. He quickly glanced down at the large hands for any sign of a gun, or the body language one used when they were carrying a concealed weapon on their person. He was vaguely aware of Sam's body tensing, saw his jaw clench. He needed no warning. Sam was already looking solidly in his direction.
The hunter seemed to be unarmed, his expression cloudy and somewhat confused. His bruised mouth quirked in a strange smile, his hand leaving a rusty dark smear of a hand print down his white T-shirt. It was already speckled with blood--mostly Dean’s. To Dean’s dismay, while his keeper didn’t have a pistol in his hand, he did have a plastic tube and a bottle of water.
He felt himself half smile. Seemed like kicking his ass into next month had cut into the water time schedule.
Dean closed his eyes and knew Sam was wondering what the objects were for and why they had been brought here to this room. And, as Sam usually was, he was fairly swift and exact about his conclusions. He felt Sam’s grip on him tighten as his mind combined the small and seemingly benign objects into what they were meant for. Dean's breathing quickened slightly when he realized what Sam was imagining.
One of Sam's hands slid away from under Dean’s shoulder and gingerly touched the arched path of his throat. Dean made a small involuntary sound of pain but didn’t jerk away like he wanted to. It was easier this way, easier to explain the madness like this instead of days from now with awkward questions and the pain all but faded away.
“Dean?” Sam’s chest was heaving, the hand that caused him hurt in its exploration holding his face again, mindful of the spectacular bruises that were just now coming into their vivid colors. Purples, blues, reds.
“Kept him watered and fed.” The man assured him almost proudly.
When Sam spoke again, Dean barely recognized his voice.
“You’ll wanna stop right there.”
It was that low terrible tone Dean only remembered Sam falling into with their father during their grandest altercations. Come to think of it, it was a tone father and son both shared whether they knew it or not. It was used when furniture broke and windows shattered. It was the voice Sam used the one and only time Dean saw his brother take a swing at their old man. That was the voice he used to say goodbye the very next day, stepping up and vanishing on a bus headed for the west coast.
It was a voice that Dean knew meant disaster.
Sam was crouched down on the floor with him but that didn't do much to hide his brother's size. Dean knew, better than anyone, that size didn't necessarily mean jack shit. But it meant a whole lot when you were so fine tuned into what your body could achieve, easily, each strike and punch like after thoughts following after thoughts that the slightest advantage with your equal meant more than any loaded gun.
Sam carefully took Dean away from his shoulder and settled him back down on the floor. He gently detached the grip Dean had on the edge of his shirt.
The water bottle and tube were tossed aside onto the floor.
“You do this?" Sam asked.
Dean wasn’t sure what Sam was gesturing at. His hand seemed to encompass all the glittering remains of whatever contained glass in the room beyond the locker. The knocked over tables. The scattered papers. The over turned chairs. A smashed in television set. The dented and cracked plaster.
"Most of it." The man said.
Sam cracked his knuckles into two ready fists.
"Then I guess it's nice to meet you."
The man backed out of the locker as Sam advanced.
“Sam—“ He gasped out when his brother disappeared back through the heavy freezer door and into the carnage of the front room. Dean struggled to sit up, maybe even stand up but he collapsed back onto the gritty floor. Unsure whether to clutch his broken arm or somehow try to keep as far away from it as possible, he writhed in frustration at not being able to see and hear what was going on. There were words, heated and growing louder the further they walked away.
They didn't talk for very long.
He tried one more time to roll up on his right side so he could get up on his knees. Dean fell back with a cry as his wounded arm shifted horribly in two different directions. "Godammit..."
He was pathetic. He let his head drop back with defeat on the floor. Pathetic was just about all he had in him about now.
Sam’s voice came from the room beyond.
“Don't move Dean!”
His return sentiment was cut off by the beginning of a very loud series of noises. Splintering wood, the clang of metal falling against tiled floors, yelling and cursing, none of which were his brother’s-- Dean was surprised there was anything left to break in there. Nothing left but another man’s face and body. He flinched when he heard the broad front bay window go.
Then it all stopped.
"S-Sammy?" He coughed when he tried to speak loud enough to be heard.
From the floor he could hear the outside noises, fading in and out with his focus. He'd grown accustomed to the world lately on hearing alone. The start of a distant engine outside, the wind, his own ragged breathing.
Whatever came through that door, he knew he would not be stopping it. Heavy footsteps returned to the freezer locker, grinding through broken glass and debris.
But it was Sam's breathing, loud and slow.
His brother was quickly at his side.
Dean saw his lip was still healing from that punch he’d taken so long ago down in that barn. But considering the ruckus Dean had just heard, he was surprised to only see a grazed cheek, a puffy eye and some skinned knuckles.
“Y-ou ok, what the hell happened—uhHhh!
His brother had leaned down and unceremoniously picked him up, standing Dean upright as quickly as he could with a grip on his good wrist to pull him up over and across Sam’s shoulders.
"Don't worry about it, we just gotta get outta here."
The world was suddenly upside down once again, care taken not to hold onto his broken arm, and one hand firmly up around his thigh to keep him in place. Glimpses of the destroyed room flashed beneath him but there was no sign of the hunter that had left him in the freezer. Sam hefted him for a better grip, the pain sinking sickeningly down his arm and making him grit his teeth. As the fresh night air hit his face, Dean half expected the hood to be replaced and the sound of a trunk being opened.
But instead he heard the familiar creak of a car door.
He was set down carefully, and stopped when he tried to just get himself seated like a normal person. He was still trying to get his other leg in the door when Sam was already at him from the opposite side, sliding him across the back seat on his back. The motion made Dean stutter out another stifled cry as his arm twisted against his side.
“Easy, easy...” Sam said tensely over him as he arranged Dean as well as he could.
The door slammed behind Dean’s head, causing the entire car to rock. The driver’s side swung open and the engine turned, the sound of her making him feel like he'd just walked into his own house after a year of being away.
“How-how did you, how—“
Sam half smiled at him over his shoulder as he backed the car up. “78 registered vacant properties in this town. Only 4 had meat lockers.”
“Ah.” Dean said. Hunters were in their very own special ways, some of the most predictable people that walked the planet.
Sam rummaged through a bag at his side as he drove, carefully checking the mirrors as he did so. He pulled out a syringe and pulled off the cap with his teeth.
“Can you do it yourself?” Sam asked glancing back at him.
Dean held up his shackled right hand, taking his left hand agonizingly along with it.
With the car shaking like it was, and the numbness in his bloody hands, he didn’t bother trying to be delicate about it. He sank the needle into the side of his thigh right through the fatigues he wore. Wincing a little bit at the length of the spike, he thumbed down the plunger, emptying the contents of the thing before yanking it out and tossing it on the floor.
“What was that?” Dean thought now to ask.
Sam was turning another corner, the engine roaring louder as she picked up some real speed. They had already hit the interstate.
“Ask me again in 10 seconds.” Sam told him.
Dean felt the pain in his arm suddenly subside with a warm rush to a dull ache. His painful hands faded to almost normal. Every other ache, in his knees, his back, his elbows, his face, all of them were diminished. Every cut and scratch that covered his skin seemed too cool, like a wet cloth was pressed all over his body.
“Wh-why 10, wha’s with the… the… seconds…”
Dean’s head fell back against the car seat, too heavy to keep up on his own power.
“How you doin’ back there Dean?” Sam shifted into the left lane, passing several semi trucks and letting them slip past in the windows.
Dean was out before the count.
All he knew for certain when he started knowing again was that he had no idea where he was.
Memories and vague pictures matched incorrectly with the hands on him. He lashed out weakly when someone tried to grab hold of his wrists. All he craved was stillness. Quiet. Nothing to move or jar him, nothing to wake him back to his body that no longer made sense. Just shut the fuck up. End it. Game over.
But the hands didn't listen.
Sensation confused with sound, swinging like a pendulum, up close then far away. Light fractured each time he opened his eyes, making everything unrecognizable.
"Here." He heard someone say at one time.
Dean never felt himself leave, never saw the world shift.
Someone had his hands. Sharp, tiny jabs at his palms and fingers, as though he were being stung again and again by some insect. He flexed and tried to stop it but his movements were useless. Red stains on metal. More relentless picking, the pain exquisite.
His words when they rose from his throat were strange.
"Shhhh..." He heard them say.
The click-click-click-clink! and the gentle tugging on his wrists made him open his eyes again.
It was Sam who was leaning over his body with the small needle like tools that could free him of the heavy steel trapping his hands. Confused, Dean turned his head slightly, saw the stark walls of a motel room, the beige sheets and even beiger walls. The curtains were drawn but every lamp in the place was on, flooding the small room with as much light as possible.
There was a towel spread on the bed beside them, bloody pieces of glass covered it like some kind of bizarre mosaic. It was all the glass from his hands. He wondered vaguely how he had slept through their removal.
Pulling the right side of the handcuffs up and off, Sam was even more careful with the left. He paused when he finally lifted the binds away, a small sound of disgust in the back of his throat when he saw the plastic clinch cord biting into the soft flesh of Dean’s wrists under all of that metal.
“This'll hurt like hell Dean.” Sam did not look at him.
Dean swallowed, the promise in the words were nothing he hadn’t been repeating to himself each time one of those men came near him. Let it hurt. It, just like any and every other hurt he’d ever had, wouldn’t last forever.
The flat of the knife had to dig into his flesh just a little, his wrists were swollen from being constricted, the snap and release of the bands left red bracelet like grooves in his skin, the blood rushing back and setting his palms and fingers aflame. He gasped and resisted more than a little when Sam took his hands, both recently de-glassed, and roughly rubbed them as hard as he could to promote circulation.
“Coulda lost a hand like that.” Sam mumbled to himself.
Dean didn’t feel like dwelling on what life would be without his hands so he didn’t. He concentrated on the painful life that was returning to his shaking fists, and the blissful feel of the cinch no longer biting into the open wounds they had created.
Besides, there was plenty more damage where that came from.
His muted panic flared at the scent of chemicals, the vague fumes of alcohol making him jerk. Wrists were wrapped neatly in bandages. His issued army shirt carefully removed with the fine razor sharp edge of a knife. The fabric almost had to be peeled from his skin, sticky with sweat but mostly blood. Dean heard himself choke back his pain when the cloth caught and stuck on a wound, plastered into it with congealed blood.
Sam moved slower, became more careful as he removed it. Warm water and a white cloth washed away the rusty stains to reveal the slashed skin beneath, antiseptic stung before it quickly numbed, piece by piece by piece…
Every now and then Sam would pause and quietly monitor his heartbeat with one finger across his wrist, Dean’s pulse fierce and thudding as his heart pounded from the mixture of medicines he’d been forced and what he had taken.
Fingers were on his face, dabbing and cleaning. The softness of cotton gauze under his nose, his lip. A sudden sharp stab of pain where the gauze pressed too forcefully over his temple made his breath hitch and the fingers quickly withdrew.
“Try not to move." Sam's voice hovered close to his face.
The fingers returned more gently this time. He heard Sam hiss up close, sounds warped and magnified.
"Damn. You're a mess."
Even smiling hurt. Weakly Dean tried to raise his hand to feel his own face. He gasped as he was reminded severely that he couldn't move very much without igniting everything off in his body like fireworks.
If he could have managed the eloquence, he would have asked Sam to pity him and crack open a bottle of Southern Comfort. He wanted unconsciousness again by any means.
"That bad?" Sam asked as if he had heard him speak his thoughts out loud. "I dunno Dean, you took a hefty shot of morphine in the car."
Dean nodded, eyes traveling hopefully to the liquor cabinet. Sam's mouth turned up in a tired grin.
"No way, dude." Sam tossed the used and bloodied gauze aside and picked up a fresh one.
As he worked, he lapsed back into a concentrated silence. It was about then that Sam’s attention finally turned to Dean’s left arm. With a pointed look and a sigh, he lifted it.
"Nnnnghh!" Was the only noise he could make around the pain, teeth gritted hard, his right fist wadding the blanket up underneath him in a sweaty grip.
Sam went right ahead and bent it at the elbow experimentally. Just like Dad had taught them. Almost better than an x-ray if you did it right. Not that any of that mattered now. The pain left him panting, vision white. Instantly the grip slackened.
“Does your hand feel numb, you know tingling?” Sam decided to rephrase that considering the circumstances. “I mean, more than it should?”
Tingling meant the circulation wasn’t returning. Sam would have to realign his arm. Goddamnit.
"It’s okay." Sam's hand was firm on his shoulder, stilling him. "I’ll be quick."
Dean watched his brother carefully run fingers down the length of his arm and take hold of it in two places. Breathing hard, Dean wet his lower lip and braced himself. “B-Be faster than quick be—AHhuuHH--!”
His vision was dazzled by pain, the drugs taking the edge off and leaving him with the dull feel of bone sliding back into the right places. It hurt so badly that it barely hurt at all, leaving him dizzy and his head full of the buzz of white noise. His sight tunneled in and out and he thought he might be about to check out again.
He realized he had been holding his breath, and he let it out with a whimper of hurt disbelief. A wet cloth meticulously wiped his arm clean, and a temporary splint was fitted tight around it, the shoulder harness holding it even tighter to his body. Ice packs came next, over and under his limb to keep the swelling down.
“Is… over, is it over…?” He mumbled to the reeling ceiling.
“Try to rest now.”
Dean resisted the urge to check if the motel’s lock was set one more time.
“Just go to sleep Dean.” Sam told him. “I’m not even going to blink.”
Dean looked at his brother for a second before he let the relief of that thought settle over him. Knowing Sam wouldn’t sleep while he did made it okay to let go of his vigilance for just a little while.
His arm throbbed in a distant echo of the agony it had been. The splint and wrapping so tight he couldn’t shift and move around to cause him pain. They’d get it set right tomorrow, in another county where he could claim he fell off of a ladder, some steps, something high enough but not strange enough to warrant his damage.
Dean stopped and stared at the glass of water Sam set by his bed side. His stomach churning with the thought of Sam picking it up and trying to help him drink it.
Sam didn’t miss his look.
“Just in case you get thirsty ok? It’ll be right there.”
Dean closed his eyes and fought back the sickness growing in his gut. It was just a glass. He could drink it if and when he wanted.
A small series of beeps made his eyes open again.
Sam was on his cell.
“W-What you doin’?”
Sam was sitting on the opposite bed with his back to him.
“They still have your phone.”
Dean felt himself go cold and immediately loathed himself for feeling it. “So-So what? Issa piece of shit, they can have it—“
Sam looked at him over his shoulder.
“I’m not done yet Dean.”
Dean lay back down and swallowed back whatever else he was going to say. There was nothing he could do to stop whatever it was that was about to happen next. This thing wasn’t quite played through yet. Sam hadn’t finished just about everything he had set out to do.
“Hello.” Sam said affably. “This is Sam Winchester.”
Dean watched his brother use a voice that was usually accompanied by a smile. There was no smile. Just full concentration on the voice on the other end of the line.
“Yes. Yes. Looks like you lost him doesn’t it?”
Dean watched his brother nod in the ensuing silence.
“Tomorrow would be perfect.”
The phone clicked closed.
"No Sam." He heard himself whisper. Three of them. One of him. Suicide. No.
"It's gonna be okay." Sam shifted to lay down on his bed. The sharp metallic sound of a safety clicked on and off. "Go to sleep."
As he drifted, Dean suddenly felt about six years old.
part 7 - (Completed)