( & 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 was awake long before he heard water start running.
A weight settled next to him on his bed, the blanket was pulled back exposing his bare arm. The cool touch of alcohol and the quick clean bite of a needle and the pain that dully roared instantly quieted, his muscles relaxing from a tense rigidness he didn’t know he had until it started to fade. It was barely light outside. He kept his eyes closed listening to Sam dress, opened them a crack to catch him reaching behind to stuff his pistol down the back of his jeans. Dean heard his brother moving close to the night stand, setting something down on it.
The second he heard the door click shut, Dean was in action.
He sat up a little too fast, his head spinning and his stomach lurching. With a hand covering one eye so he could focus, he grabbed what was left folded neatly on the table.
Sam had left him a note.
Be back soon.
Dean growled as he crumpled it in his fist. The new drugs were doing their work, but his injuries were a day old, his body now acutely aware of its abuse. He gritted his teeth and focused against the pain as he struggled into a flannel, his splinted arm stiff and awkward under an empty sleeve. His boots were still without laces, so they were the easiest to handle. He barely had them on his feet when the front door clicked behind him. Panting, he made it to the back of the motel just in time to see the Impala turn a corner. Heart thudding in his chest, Dean scanned the parking lot in a panic.
The only other living being awake at this hour was leaning against his cab, drinking a cup of coffee. Frantically, Dean dug through his pockets and made his way over to him.
"Hey--!" He cleared his tortured throat. "Hey you! I need a ride!"
"Sorry. Off duty." The driver said blearily.
"Look, it's an emergency! Here!" Dean shoved the wad of twenties into the man's confused hand. "Did you see that Chevy pass by?"
"Uh-huh." The man was now at full attention.
The driver hurriedly tossed his cup into a waste bin and even had the courtesy to open the passenger door.
"Need a hand?" The driver asked, noticing Dean's careful movements.
"Nah. Just drive! Drive!" Dean grunted as he eased himself into the car.
He knew Sam would try to talk. Dialogue with men like these was dead air, fragile courtesies upheld until someone pulled a trigger. Dean had to wonder just how much control his little brother thought he had over this game.
He made sure the cab stopped one block short of where he finally saw the Impala’s brake lights lock into park.
Industrial sectors made too much noise for many people to live comfortably. Noise covered screams, no witnesses covered secrets. The looming facades of brick buildings standing silently in a row seemed almost to beg for questionable acts. Dean definitely did not like where this was going. Moving as fast as possible to the corner, he watched the black parked car carefully as the cab pulled away in the opposite direction. The engine still idling, he saw Sam get out and without much haste, walk up to a locked garage door. It looked like it was built for trucks that came in for loading and unloading. About a dozen feet of corrugated steel broke the morning silence as it rolled up noisily.
Dean’s eyes narrowed.
His brother got back into the car and drove in through the open door. Sam reappeared briefly to shut it back down behind him. He took a look up and down the street first before satisfying himself that it was all clear. Ducking back against the brick wall, Dean silently cursed himself for having no weapon of any kind on him. It was all in the car and the car was just locked into a warehouse. His eyes went up the side of the building he was hiding behind. An overflowing dumpster sat right under a fire escape.
Two of his very best friends.
Climbing wasn’t easy.
In fact, he had to stop every several feet to catch his breath and try not to toss up the breakfast he didn’t have.
The pain killers worked but the trade off was being nauseous as hell. He paused, pressing his sweaty forehead against the fire rung he had gripped tightly in his good hand. The cool metal felt good on his skin as he panted slowly, his stomach settling and his aching right arm getting a short rest. His hand had begun to burn under the bandage after he’d cleared the first two floors, and by the time he legged over onto the third floor escape landing, damp red was beginning to stain his palm. He shouldered the metal fire exit open and found himself in a dark stairwell. He headed down, finding the second floor door completely missing all together. He stopped before he went through because he could hear something.
People talking. Echoing and vague like voices in a parking garage.
Easing around the corner, he found another staircase going down to the warehouse floor, the first and second story open to the air, big and broad enough for a fleet of freight trucks to park comfortably along the rows upon rows of ramps. But not today, the place was completely empty.
The Impala was parked down there, and not very far away was a large four door pick up. So this was the meeting place. Dean moved down the stairs, keeping his eyes on the group of men standing between the vehicles about a dozen yards away. Sam was standing alone with a rifle raised and aimed, and the hunters stood opposite him, their hands slightly up in begrudging compliance. Only two of them. The older of the two that always went and left Dean alone with their younger cohort.
The massive place was littered with random wide cement support beams. Dean got up behind one and turned his head as best he could to catch everything they were saying.
“What’s with the rifle?” The hunter asked. “Thought you wanted this nice and peaceful.”
“Thought I asked you to come unarmed.”
The old man shrugged and grinned, like a kid caught stealing from the jar.
“You called. We came. Now where is he?”
Sam backed up slowly to the Impala and yanked open the trunk. Dean quickly thought of a dozen ways he could reach the stash of weapons concealed there, if those guys were armed this was going to get—
“Come on, get on out.” Sam said.
To Dean’s shock, the hunter’s numbered by three after all. The man that had tormented him for so many days was there, trapped in the car’s trunk since… yesterday? His face was bloodied and he looked bleary eyed and confused, but he was alive. Dean slumped back against the dank cement support. That meant Sam had known all along that there would have been at least one man left to guard him in that butcher shop. And that meant Sam had made sure to clear out the trunk so that it could nicely fit a person. So much for that sawed off he wished he was holding right about now.
Sam nudged the injured man in the back with his rifle. “Search your friends here for me. Toss everything you find on the ground.”
The man hesitated, dazed and not a little apprehensive.
Even Dean jumped slightly at his brother's shout.
The wary man looked back and forth between his mentors and the loaded weapon. With a sigh, he limped over to the older men and started patting them down. The sharp hard rattle of firearms hit the concrete, once, twice, three times before Dean heard the metallic clatter of a heavy knife join them.
“All of it.” Sam suggested when it appeared the search had ended.
Hazarding a look, Dean saw the older men's confidence crumble a little bit when their protégé searched down around their ankles and produced one more pistol and a throwing blade. Now it really was all in Sam’s hands.
“I brought you something besides him.”
Sam reached into the back pocket of his jeans and pulled out a folded manila envelope. It was thick and heavy. He held it up so they could get a good look at it.
“Hardcopy documents of all your IDs, double copies for all of you. Last you your lifetime. Put it all away in a safe deposit box and you’ll never have to worry about it again.”
“Why? Why you doing this?” The hunter asked.
“All I ask is that we end this right now and we go our separate ways.”
“Step backwards please.” Sam asked. “About six feet.”
Dean watched them comply, walking unsteadily up onto one of the loading ramps. It looked pretty much like all the others but this one was lined in safety orange tagging and reflective warning signs.
“Right there.” Sam lowered his rifle and smiled. “That’s perfect.”
He slapped a large round button and suddenly the warehouse roared with noise. Startled, Dean rounded the column to see the platform the men stood on was now slowly lifting up towards the second floor. It was a loading lift. Like an open elevator. And there was no easy way down. The crank and whir of the engines that extended it upwards slowly quieted. The groan and hiss of the hydraulics whined to a halt as it reached its destination.
Somewhat amused, the old man rested his hands on the railing and looked down the good twenty five feet at Sam.
“What are we doing now, standing up here to death?”
“For a while.” Sam nodded up to them. “See ya’ll later. Well, not really, but ya know, bye.”
Dean was standing behind him, still unnoticed. His fists clenched so tight they shook.
His brother jerked around, his rifle half way up before he realized who it was. “Dean? What are you doin-“
“You can't leave it like this, its not… they won’t stop—“
"What're you talkin' about? Dean, what are you--?"
Dean and Sam turned to look up at them. The old guy was leaning forward, his elbows resting easily on the chipped rusted iron.
"There are whole lot less of us out there huntin’ than you know." He spat on the floor beside him. "There’s even less among them worth the salt it would take to burn em."
Dean stood very still, aware he was staring and forcing himself to blink.
"But you." The old man grinned a tobacco-stained smile at Dean. "Your Daddy made you just right."
"Shut up." Dean's vast archive of cheap retaliation was gone. A series of comments designed out of thin air to annihilate and nullify anything he wanted. But now he had nothing.
"Not many like you that were all grown up with it." He looked at him in appreciation. "Not even me. Do you get how rare a boy like you is?"
"And Sam?" Dean suddenly said defiantly, finally seeing some ground he could toss back in this man's face. "He grew up just like I did, he did everything I--"
"And he went and ran off didn't he?" The old guy's grin faded.
Sam shifted uncomfortably beside him.
Dean jerked a pointed finger up at them all. "You don't know shit about him--!"
"I know everything about him." He interrupted softly. "And I know all about you. Man in my business makes it his mission to know who's playin’ in his cornfield."
"How could-- you don’t know anything." Dean realized his chest was heaving and that this guy had managed to push him into the defensive. “You don’t know fucking anything.”
"Your brother couldn't stomach the work that needed to be done. Not like you. You know how deep down the rabbit hole goes. Don't ya?"
Dean swallowed back his next words, his good hand clenching at his side.
"We'll be seein' you again Dean." The older man said softly between the bars. There was a trace of a smile that held a promise with it. “You can bet on it.”
Dean felt himself step backwards once before he could help it.
Sam's voice startled him.
“Don’t listen to him.” His brother said quietly, but his sure and determined demeanor was gone. “We're done here. It'll be okay. C'mon."
Dean was still trembling in rage.
“We can’t leave them here, we have to—“
Sam grabbed his good arm, hard around the bicep to stop him and look him in the eye.
“I said it’ll be okay.”
Dean didn’t answer.
He just shrugged his arm free and headed towards the car.
“Did you get them what they wanted?” Dean asked angrily.
Sam was distracted behind the wheel, negotiating the odd turns and twists that made up the network of roads of the empty industrial park. Once again, he seemed to be in a hurry to get out of the way of plans that only he himself was party to.
“Oh yeah.” Sam finally answered. “I sure did.”
“Why are you so damn happy about it?” Dean demanded suspiciously. “You did everything but take out a fuckin’ mortage for ‘em.”
“Gave all three of them IDs that no one will ever need anymore. Ran it across every single which way. It’s all airtight unless someone takes a picture of them and physically takes it to the computer archives to do a comparison.”
Knowing how one could use two different credit cards in the same store without being asked for one driver’s license, Dean had to agree. That was pretty airtight.
“So what did you do?” Dean leaned back into the passenger seat, too tired to do anything else but just sit there. “Airline idents? FBI? CIA? Tom, Dick and Harry from Duluth?”
“Then whose lives did you give them?”
The sudden shrill sound of a police sirens blared as they came into view, speeding down the narrow road and going swiftly pass them in the opposite direction towards the warehouse. Sam watched the frantic flashing lights in the rear view, a small grin coming to his face.
A month came and went.
A doctor said Dean had been lucky and on the outside he’d only need the cast for less than the remainder of the year. Sam signed it with ‘thanks for such a bitchin’ summer’. It was funny at first but became less so as the weeks wore on and Dean still had to look at it. He eventually crossed it all out with a black marker and morphed it into a bad skull and cross bones that looked more like well, a blob with an X going through it.
He learned to work around and with it. And after a while he forgot it was there all together. Everything else healed quickly. His hands. His wrists. All the marks and slashes faded and faded until he barely noticed them in the shower any longer.
They got several phone calls. The most urgent from Bobby who had heard through the various grapevines that the ‘Winchesters’ had been picked up by the federal police. But he had also heard they never made it to trial, their van in a convoy headed for the state capital for processing had some kind of accident and they all went missing.
Bobby was mostly curious about that number.
Dean explained what he could. He asked Bobby to keep it himself no matter how much he trusted he would even if not asked. Sam’s ploy had worked in both directions, for the people in the real world and the people like them. They were news for both, but as good as ghosts at the same time.
It had worked out even better than Sam probably could have even hoped.
Dean rolled his new phone in his hand. The sun was just about to go down and he thought about trying to find something to eat before they headed out again but his stomach wasn’t feeling right. His throat flashed in a phantom pain that made his jaw clench, his hands twitched in memory of fine slivers of gray television glass. He rubbed the palm of his right hand into his eyes. It was just then that his phone rang again.
The glowing display made his breath catch in his throat.
It was showing the old number from the phone he’d lost. The phone that had been taken. It would have been seized by the police. Locked away in some evidence locker. Sold with other lost and founds. Tagged and left in a box. There was no way it could have managed to —
“You ready to go?” Sam asked as he hefted his duffel.
Dean stared at his cell until the ringing stopped, the display going dark and dead.
“Yeah.” He said, "Sure."
Tucking the phone away, Dean followed his brother out into the twilight.
Yes, this is the end of this arc but is it the end of this story? I’m not quite so sure. As I was writing this I really got into thinking about this different breed (if there is even one solid breed of hunter) of hunters that not only not like to operate alone, but out of necessity, forcibly recruit those they need. Finding Dean is like finding a black hawk helicopter amongst paper airplanes. You’d want him on your side. You’d want him as your solider and tool.
Soooo, I left this arc open for more when I have the time to go there. Because I’d like these hunters to find Dean again. And this time they’d know exactly what to do to avoid any unneeded complications. They would have him long enough to start that training that would really make him theirs to keep.
That’s a story I’d really like to write and so, I leave this plot open ended for when I can pick it up somewhere else. Maybe a few years down Dean’s road (not mine), or maybe just a few months. Either way, Dean had better start watchin’ his back and Sam…. that dude had better start wearing Kevlar…
It's started and almost at its end: The sequel Indoctrination