Title: Methodology part 1 - part 2 - part 3 - part 4 - part 5 - part 6 - part 7 - part 8 *Completed*
Author: Mink & Jink
Rating: R - Peril - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Sam kept looking down at those gashes of chalk that lay around his feet on the cracked tiles.
He wasn’t positive but he was considering that maybe they were having a slight influence on him after all. At least to his hearing. Maybe even his sight. Remembering how it felt like his perception had been nudged, he wondered if it had been just like having a camera suddenly sharply thrust into focus. You never quite knew how dull a picture was until it was brought into crystal clear relief.
The deserted halls and rooms all around him seemed to have been stripped of everything. An old place like this probably had most of the plumbing pulled out of the walls too. What was left was a hollow shell of poured cement and holes in the dry wall where the light fixtures used to be. Traveling quietly through the corridors was like trying keep your voice down in a church. From every direction you could hear the movement of anything that walked the coarse floor.
Sam’s gaze fell down to his right arm.
It was always his right arm for some reason. Just before that vague crease of skin on the inner elbow, there was the place that doctors, nurses, and when duty called even his father had deemed the best place to use a needle. The science of it was the ready availability of a vein. Someone who knew what they were doing only had to look, feel and tap the skin to find the most likely area to pierce. Sam remembered being fascinated at the fact that the professionals who knew their stuff always came to the same spot time and time again over the span of years.
Just like Gordon had.
After the cell phone had been clicked closed, Gordon had quickly gone back to work. His urgency hadn't surprise Sam. The first thing to happen was the appearance of a worn nylon duffel bag and the medical kit. There was no use resisting or even asking what he was being given from the compact sterile syringe. Knowing only that it wasn’t the remedy for existing, Sam had watched the rubber garrote secured on his bicep and the peculiar bulge it gave the paths of blood under his skin.
The effects had been immediate. In a sense it was a reprieve. No one could complain too much about having pain taken away. He waited for it to make a turn for the worse but found it didn’t have the power to render him completely useless. Incoherent maybe, but he was still aware of what was going on. Feeling his eyes roll up, he caught himself, steeling his will against the weighty lull. Gordon would be arming himself and inspecting whatever provisions he’d made to rig the place. He should be checking connections he’d left sitting for too many hours and making sure everything that had been neatly orchestrated was in the green.
But Gordon seemed to be doing nothing but packing.
Sam watched the two books that sat on the table be put away. The knife sank into an old leather sheath before it joined them in the bag. There wasn’t much else in the room besides the water and Sam’s phone. Gordon left those as they were. Shouldering his duffel and without much ceremony, he made his exit.
Gordon’s footsteps vanished when he reached the brief spans of cement stairs. They were the only moments of absolute silence of his passage once he left the room. The place was so big and quiet the sound of the jammed door screeching on the ground from two floors down was easy to detect amongst the whole lot of nothing that filled the place up and down. Sam waited for the distinct echo of footfall making a return trip back from the outside. Instead, the cough and unmistakable stutter of a car engine erupted directly below the window. The gears were quickly engaged and it backed up first before it was set into drive, the tires rolling over asphalt.
Sam sat tensely waiting to identify any trace of the man’s presence somewhere below him. Counting to distinguish natural noises from the equally random racket of the man made, Sam inadvertently began cataloguing time. After three interminable quarters of an hour crawled by, he started to wonder if what he had heard was maybe exactly what it had sounded like.
Had Gordon just left?
Feeling the keen soak of the drug turn down off its peak, he started to feel more disjointed and worn down than he already was. All he could to do was sit back and watch. A passive bystander of a turn of events over which he had absolutely no control.
It figured when it happened he always got a front row seat.
When he heard the sounds of trespass again, he knew it wasn’t the hunter who had returned.
It was so subtle at first he thought that maybe he had caught up the far away drip of water that had thrown him when he first began his watch. But the unsteady tread soon made itself known. It wasn’t moving in sure broad lengths of space. Starting and stopping, examining and searching. It was someone completely different. The near silent quality of the cautious exploration was as identifiable as a fingerprint.
Sam nervously waited for the sound of a scuffle. But he had never heard Gordon's car return. That didn’t matter too much. He had never heard the Impala arrive either. Despite that, he would bet all the money that wasn’t in his pocket that the person down there on the first floor walking as vigilantly as a man in a mine field was his brother.
Considering how much time had past Sam wondered just how long Dean had spent on the property’s perimeter before gritting his teeth and taking the plunge. Gaining entrance without incident so far hadn’t taken much of the suspicion out of his step however. Sam was glad. He didn’t know what was going on here but nothing made any sense. He supposed Gordon could have doubled back and had some how returned unnoticed. The man could be down there with the immobile stillness of a statue, waiting for Dean to cross his path. Sam shifted in the metal feeling for the first time how deadened his limbs had gone with the drug he’d been shot up with.
He considered it might not be possible for him to walk. That would make the challenge of getting the hell out of here just fantastic. It felt like a good sign when he could smile at the thought of his tribulations somehow exponentially growing more dire.
The cessation of footsteps indicated Dean’s first ascent up the flight of stairs Sam had deduced were on the far left of the building. As Sam suspected, the sounds came back, loud and clear when his brother reached the second story. There was nothing keeping Sam from alerting Dean just exactly where he was. But something about it all still made him nervous.
Still counting, it was just about another full hour before Sam knew Dean was on the same floor as he was.
When the familiar profile suddenly appeared in the doorway, Sam felt himself experience a relief he knew he should keep stowed until they were far away from this place. Dean stayed in the shadows, studying him and the room.
“He’s not in here.” Sam said.
His voice cut through the silence and set Dean into motion again. Even with the all clear he still hesitated before swinging around the corner with his pistol cocked and ready. After checking it was truly safe he stepped closer allowing Sam to finally see his face.
Dean shrugged at him, his hands slightly raised in a wary question.
“Where the hell is he?” He whispered in annoyance.
Sam felt as detached from the danger as he did from his pain. Even though his brother and freedom were just a short distance away he couldn’t seem to bring himself to care very much. All he wanted to do was stop listening and counting in the dark. He wanted to go to sleep. He felt himself talking and realized the drugs were harder than he thought.
“I think he left.”
He knew the answer was ludicrous but he was thankful to see it caused Dean to look him up and down. Dean would get it. He’d figure out that Gordon had done something to send him out of whack. His brother’s assessment lingered on his eyes. His pupils must have been blown because Dean didn’t bother asking him much after that. Except the question Sam knew was coming no matter what.
“Are you okay?”
Sam nodded heavily, watching Dean flip out the Swiss army like tool that kept all his picks in order. Raising an eyebrow down at the salt and chalk, his brother stepped over it without another glance. Crouching down he quickly examined the grade and oddly positioned locks that kept Sam in place. Dean made a small sound of approval at their quality and promptly went to business.
“Let’s not question a great thing, huh?” Dean murmured as he slipped the thin hook into the lock’s chamber. “We can high five later.”
Sam let his head fall back, knowing the work would take a few minutes and keeping his head level was becoming difficult to accomplish. He felt the gentle tugs on his right wrist as Dean manipulated its mechanism, swearing under his breath when one of the tumblers slipped out from under the delicate procedure.
With a jerk and the click of a loaded spring lock, the band that sat bulky on Sam’s wrist shifted.
“Shit.” Dean hissed.
Sam looked down wondering why his hand wasn’t free yet. Trying to focus on the handcuff he saw its lock was still in place despite what Dean had done.
Gripping his hand, Dean muttered another curse. Sam watched him in bleary confusion. Dean was holding up his hand and blinking at a thick drop of blood running down his palm.
“D-Dean?” Sam asked.
“S’okay.” Dean answered strangely.
Taking a deep breath, his brother leaned over the lock again and attempted to continue the job. Sam’s uneasiness grew as Dean’s fingers fumbled on the pick, losing his grip over and over again.
“Gimme just- just a second.” He stuttered, blinking rapidly.
Dean suddenly sat back hard, landing on the floor and holding out his hand where the small pin prick had stopped bleeding. Sam looked back down at the metal bind and saw what he had missed before. The short end of a needle was sticking out laterally from its side. It was what had been released when he heard the spring go.
His brother tried to stand up but he didn’t get very far. The heavy gun clattered nosily onto the floor when Dean attempted to draw it.
So Sam had been right. Gordon had left after all. Drove off and maybe decided to go kill a few hours by going to that multiplex cinema a few towns over off the highway.
He shut his eyes.
The building hadn’t been rigged.
More than a few hours past before Sam heard the car again.
He hadn’t taken his eyes off Dean’s body since his brother had collapsed several feet away from the chair. He hadn’t moved since. With growing dread, Sam kept expecting him to stop breathing but Dean’s chest continued to slowly rise and fall. Once again, it looked like Gordon wasn’t interested in making a killing. He wanted another wide awake person for the work to continue. When the door below opened again, Sam jerked at his fists in frustration.
When Gordon stopped in the doorway, a curious repetition of his brother’s own pattern, he nodded at the sight of what he found inside the room.
“What did I tell you about that ride, Sam?” Gordon was shaking his head. “Saw that Chevy off the access road a few miles east.”
Gordon started towards him, Dean’s body laid out in front of his chair like Sam had done the act himself. The hunter paused over his brother, Dean's jacket fallen off one shoulder in a strange and unintentional display of vulnerability that made Sam’s jaw clench. Gordon tugged the leather the rest of the way off and tossed it aside. But his expression of subtle victory shifted. It changed to something like wary concern as he considered the brand new issue that wouldn't stay safe and sound in oblivion for long.
Gordon, the man with the plan, didn’t seem to have thought much beyond what he’d do if the other Winchester appeared on the scene. Apparently besides making sure to deliver a hefty dose of whatever had tipped that needle. When the duffel opened again, Sam saw he had rightly assumed his special seat had been brought in on purpose just for his confinement. A coiled heap of shiny thin twine was flung on the table as Gordon took a look around the room for his options.
It looked like only Sam was getting the fancy locks for their stay. Dean would have to settle for good old fashioned ropes. The braided kind that people strung up across their back yard to hang wet laundry on. Without much further thought Gordon walked over to the huge window and got low enough to get a firm grab under its metal chipped frame. Sam stilled when the intention behind opening the thing wasn’t immediately clear. However, it became simple enough to figure out once the pane of wired glass slid up with a raw shriek. It was barred. Sam’s thoughts drifted to the fire that had most likely closed this place down. There was probably a job or two slithering down in the basement considering all the safety codes the owners had violated before it all went up in smoke.
Dean groaned when Gordon sat him up against the wall and then hefted him up to take a seat on the window sill. The aging metal flaked when the rope was run through it, hissing snugly around his brother’s wrists. Gordon studied the project for a moment before he looped and doubled the rope around Dean’s throat and chest. With a nod of satisfaction, he put his boot up against the wall for leverage and quickly began drawing up the slack hand over hand. Sam winced when Dean made a choked sound as the rope zipped tight around his neck. With one strong yank Gordon fixed his brother firmly against the metal bars and started another thick elaborate knot to make sure he stayed there. There was a rusty length of pipe running down close to the floor, its joints indistinguishable with too many hasty drooping coats of paint. A few more tugs and Dean’s ankles were secured along with everything else.
“How are you feeling, Sammy?” Gordon asked him over a shoulder.
For some reason the tone and sincerity of it reminded Sam uncomfortably of when Dean had asked close to the same thing. His gaze wandered to the frayed ends of the twine that hung off the nearly decorative knots around his brother’s wrists.
“Undone.” Sam concluded, pleased that the word came out like it should have and not some meaningless slur.
Dean had barely stirred throughout the entire process. Sam felt somewhere under his fog that this was an excellent thing. If his brother had been even a little aware of any of his handling during this peaceful procedure things would have been more than a lot different.
“Don’t-Don’t bother with him,” Sam swallowed, forcing his slipping eyes to look the hunter in the face. “He’s not even… one of… one of us.”
He wanted to laugh after he heard what it sounded like out loud. Mostly because it was true. Dean wasn’t on the play list in the great evil scheme of things. Dean wasn’t enlisted or even considered a pawn in the enormous unfathomable field the game pieces played on. At least that was what Sam imagined might have been the case if the war had even been given a chance to start.
Gordon seemed to feel the same way because there was no salt line or chalk being placed around the window. Curious, Sam glanced up at the ceiling for anything he might have missed. The fractured plaster was gently spiraling but Sam was fairly sure that there was nothing paranormal about it. There were a few potent chemicals pumping through his head that were responsible for that show.
He watched his brother’s jacket be systematically checked before being draped onto one of the chairs. When Gordon was done he turned his attention back to the man he’d lashed to the window frame. Sam felt the tension in his jaw go from rigid to aching. He was staring at Gordon. Staring at those hands that went from benign to vicious in as less time as it took to blink.
“Don’t touch him.”
He felt his muscles stiffen when Gordon stopped himself before kneeling down at Dean’s side. The man gave a smile that made Sam wished he could dismantle, fist by unflagging fist. He wanted to make Gordon feel like never smiling again. When Gordon got down on one knee, he slipped a hand to the side of Dean’s throat. After a moment, he moved up to feel a wrist. Satisfied that the body was stable, he started the thorough search for what Dean had undoubtedly concealed all over his person. The extra light weight pistol was taken away. The short blunt blade at his ankle went next. The gleam of the Zippo. A pack of matches and some keys.
It was infuriating seeing his older brother treated like some convenient salvage.
Sam’s fists started to hurt when he watched his brother’s shirt yanked up, his belt taken away and his jean pockets turned inside out. The drugs spun his thoughts too tight around his mind’s spindle, driving every act and sound he witnessed down like a spiked nail under a hammer.
“I-I said stop it.”
He didn’t recognize his own voice. It escaped like he couldn’t breathe, but he knew he was breathing too hard.
“Don’t worry,” Gordon murmured absently, distracted by the arsenal he was laying out on the floor. “I’m about done here.”
The hunter was taking a look at the twin thin blades he’d found strapped to either of Dean’s wrists. With a downward appreciative turn of his mouth, he crisscrossed them both before sliding them in a back pocket.
It was right then that Sam felt it.
It was like a wind had blustered and gusted from nothing. All around him it blew just strong enough to unsettle all the dust in the room. At least that was what Sam thought at first. It was powerful enough to make Gordon almost lose his balance in the crouch he was in, his shirt billowing with its passage, one hand going out behind him to stop from teetering backwards. Dean’s hanging head briefly lifted, unconsciously reacting to the feel of something brushing up against his face.
Startled, Gordon looked up at Sam swiftly and backed up a few steps.
Gasping, Sam felt about as stunned as the hunter appeared.
He suddenly felt his head start to dissolve into that blank white wall of numb before the agony settled in. Shaking his head, he tried to will it away before it hit, staving off what he knew could be more terrible than just about anything this hunter could come up with.
“That’s a neat trick, Sammy,” Gordon said carefully from somewhere above him. “Looks brand new.”
The wash of noise stuck the inside of his skull in a wave, colliding up against the back of his eyes and blinding him. It was just like the bill he had to pay for every single one of his vivid unwanted revelations. It was the same toll but somehow even worse, crashing down inside of him like it wanted to cave him in.
Distantly, he heard the man drag his boot over the floor and knew he was blurring the symbols that circled him like planets.
“Let’s see if you can do it again.”
Sam struggled to his meet his eyes.
“Dean will love it.”