Mink (minkmix) wrote,

SPN Fic: Tripwire part 2 of 4

Oh yeah, did I mention this story was a result of the poll? XD Duct Tape for TEH W1N! Alec Molestation in a restaurant bathroom is coming up next. (sorry 'Traces' but confused and backed up on countertops and drugged/heated/wanton/coerced transgenics duty calls)


Title: Tripwire part 1 - part 2 - part 3 - part 4 *Completed*
Author: Mink
Rating: R - Gen - hurt!Dean
This story procedes directly after the events of S3 Episode 47
Spoilers: General to all aired ep in USA
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Beta: Thank you Kat!
Summary: Dean accidentally uncovers something else left over in his father's old storage space...and it sucks.

The clamor in Dean’s head died down after a while. Unfortunately, his body didn’t get the memo.

He didn’t know how long it took the violent convulsions to subside, but when his body finally stilled he numbly waited to see if it was over. Dean forced his muscles to relax after drawing in a full gasp of air and that didn’t bring about another urge to projectile vomit. As his ragged breathing returned, his brother’s crushing embrace gradually eased. Sam had been hanging onto to him as if sheer force alone would keep them both in one piece until the episode had passed.

“W-Where did it go?” Dean rasped.

The space once filled with the twisted red face was empty again. He scanned the dim cellar and he couldn’t see any trace of its form, but he knew it hadn’t disappeared completely. Its presence lingered like curls of smoke from a snuffed flame, the echo of its shrill screech making his eardrums feel as fragile as glass.

“It’s not gone.” Dean said. “B-be careful.”

Sam stared at him in stunned silence, hands unwilling to disengage from his brother’s shuddering body just yet. Dean felt trembling fingers press his pulse on his neck and a warm palm firmly wiped away a thick drizzle of spit hanging from his mouth. Unable to perform his own self-inspection, Dean touched his tongue to his upper lip and tasted the sharp salty tang of blood. As he gladly gulped in the stale basement air, he realized his brother was panting for breath too.

“What was that?” Sam straightened unsteadily to stand. “What the hell happened?”

Dean dully realized his brother was concentrating on him instead of the surrounding cellar.

“I saw … something,” he explained.

He shifted uncertainly under Sam’s distraught glare. He hadn’t just seen something; he had heard and felt things too. He recalled gruesome thoughts pushed into his mind and forced out of his mouth before he could stop them. But the language he vaguely remembered speaking throughout the roaring noise wasn’t his. As he considered it, the unwanted words formed in his head to the steady beat of his heart.

All this won’t matter.
It won’t matter.

Flexing his sweating palms under the confines of the tape, he attempted to shake off the low humming in the back of his mind. Clearing his throat, he tried to ignore the unsettling murmur that softly repeated the same words.

“That thing started howlin’ too.” Dean added. “You miss all that racket?”

“I didn’t hear anything.” Sam turned around cautiously. “Where is it? Where did it go?”

Confined in the chair, Dean didn’t bother joining the inspection of the basement. He knew it would show up again when it wanted and then vanish just as quickly. With the edge of his panic momentarily appeased, it was easier to believe this was all some bizarre product of his mind. Otherwise, whatever that cursed piece of paper had unleashed, it only seemed visible to one person and the lucky winner happened to be him.

“You can let me go, Sam.” Dean nodded. “I’m okay now.”

He didn’t exactly feel fantastic, but at least he didn’t feel like his head was about to explode anymore.

“Just-just hold on a second, would ya?”

Dean studied Sam’s troubled features for a moment before deciding not to argue. He knew well enough about the dangers of rushing to conclusions. It might take a few minutes, but Sam would figure out what Dean already knew: This thing was just all some crazy head game with a souped up sound and light show. Now he just had to convince Sam that an emergency mummification in duct tape probably wasn’t as mandatory as previously thought.

“I’ll be right back,” Sam said.

“Where are you goin’?”

“I have to go upstairs.”

Dean’s thoughts turned unbidden to the car keys sitting on the sofa with his jacket. Pictures suddenly jarred his vision, flashing in repetition like a dulled memory. He groaned and shook his head trying to clear it of the disturbing images that swarmed before his eyes.

Sam leaving out the front door.
The car driving down the long dirt road that wound its way to the highway.
Snow falling lazily from the gray sky and slowly burying this house.
Trapped in this basement.

“Dean?” Sam ventured.

The vision blurred, fading back into the stark light of the bare bulb. Dean regarded his brother as Sam waited for a response at the foot of the stairs.

“I-I guess I’ll wait right here.”

The joke wasn’t very funny but the corner of Sam’s mouth pulled up into a forced half smile.

Dean watched his brother take two steps at a time, disappearing through the doorway into the upper floor. Listening to the tread of footsteps on the wooden planks above, he sagged back and shut his eyes. The dull echo of pain in his skull began to pound softly, reminding him it was still there. Beat by beat, the words lingered in his mouth as if they’d been said aloud.

All this won’t matter.
It won’t matter.

Leaning his head against the uncomfortable backrest of the chair, Dean decided to let his mind explore all the blissful avenues of denial.

The card he found could have been a dud like Sam had suggested. All that stuff they’d packed up had been rotting in that musty storage unit for years. There was every chance that time and neglect had worn its mojo down to nearly nothing. In fact, all the stupid card might do was fuck up a guy’s vision and hand over one bitch of a headache. Even better, the letters painted on the paper might have been for a specific person, someone who never had the pleasure of triggering it.

However, Dean knew he’d have to work a little harder to convince himself of those possibilities.

It was common knowledge just how much harm one of those little tripwires – stupid handwritten curses - could do. From striking a man blind to casting a pox, the effect was never any good. If the bastard who crafted it was particularly talented, the cards became more than a tool to strike grievous harm. The painted symbols could worm their way through every nuance of the nervous system and control a man like a meat puppet.

He looked down apprehensively at his shaking hands and puke splattered lap.

An hour ago, he was ordering his brother to tie him up and now all he wanted was to get the hell out of this chair. He briefly thrashed in the seat, twisting his arms and legs as far as they could before the tape began to hurt bad enough to make him stop. The pounding of his brother’s boots along creaky planks brought his attention back to the stairs.

Sam’s grim face did little to bolster his hope for liberation.

Dean wasn’t sure what Sam had done upstairs but he dismally knew what he’d be doing if their roles were reversed. He’d make sure he knew the type and location of every type of weapon available. If it were a factory made pistol meant to injure or a butter knife accidentally formed to do the same, he’d make sure it got gone.

Sam dropped a duffel bag on the steps and started searching the cellar floor.

“I really jumped the gun on this one huh?” Dean halfheartedly tugged at his arms. “Talk about overkill.”

Discarded slats of wood piled in the corner distracted his brother. He was picking up chopped 2x4s and jamming them tight into place under the narrow cellar windows to avert any exit.

“An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure.” Dean recited.

Sam had taken a length of particle board and was making it into smaller pieces by breaking them over a knee.

“Jesus,” Dean muttered to himself. “I hated it when dad said that crap like that.”

Watching Sam setting up blockades made the ache grinding in his head grow heavier. All of the preventive measures being made were completely pointless. His brother seemed to be listening to every lucid word he was saying but he wasn’t responding in any way. If the stubborn son of a bitch wasn’t going to listen to logical reason, than he might obey a direct order. It didn’t work often but Dean decided to toss caution to the wind and try to pull rank.

“Time to let me go, Sam.”

Sam finally looked up from the shattered pieces of wood and dragged a hand across his sweaty forehead. As cold as it was, his brother’s face was damp with exertion. He hadn’t stopped moving since the trip upstairs and he hadn’t said much either.

“In a while, maybe,” he replied.

Dean wasn’t sure how much time had passed because his watch was buried under about five layers of tape, but Sam’s watch was working just fine. From what he could see of it, the hour hand was hovering around dawn. Not that anyone could tell down in the submerged cellar. It could have been any time of day with the bare bulb glowing bleakly at its center and the temperature staying at a few degrees above freezing.

He stilled when his vision started to flicker and jump again.

Snow falling lazily from the gray sky and slowly burying this house.
Trapped in this basement.

The sharp agony in his head twisted to a fine point, the scattered voices of his own thoughts crowding into a jumble of noise. The uproar swiftly grew into a din so loud his wrists strained under the binds in an involuntary effort to cover his face. Dean looked anxiously at his brother’s turned back but Sam hadn’t noticed anything. The still cellar air began to stir against his skin in an unnatural breeze. A sudden gush of wind grew colder then turned so blistering hot that he had to close his eyes. Dean knew when he opened them again that he would see it.

The frenzied face hung inches from his own; a scream frozen in shape on its red bloated lips.


He cringed backwards when it began to violently contort, bleeding its pigment into the air and unfurling in every direction. Dean could feel the sticky strands of its reach slipping underneath his clothing and sluggishly coating him. Unable to move or speak, he viciously struggled in the restraints as it spread hungrily over his skin. As it slicked sickeningly down his chest and between his legs, his stomach lurched again.

Just when he didn’t think he could stand its touch for a moment longer, it dissipated into the air like a mist.

Coughing violently, Dean didn’t realize his brother had returned to his side until he was finished throwing up a second time. He tried to turn his face away as Sam used an old towel to clean up what he could. From the absent worry on Sam’s face, Dean knew he’d once again seen nothing. All his brother witnessed was a lunatic fighting himself in a chair.

“S-Stop,” he sputtered as Sam scrubbed the cloth over his face. “It’s fine. I’m fine.”

“Yeah,” Sam muttered back. “You’re perfect.”

Sam found the cleanest part of the oil rag to wipe across Dean’s mouth and chin. He didn’t comment on the weird puke that should have been beer and remains of dinner the night before. Whatever it was that Dean had thrown up was blood red. Not bright like from a fresh wound, or brown like an old one, but glaring uniform tint that held no organic scent. It was like paint or some kind of dye. Dean knew what this red stuff was.

“It’s that thing.” He attempted to explain. “I-It’s in me.”

Dean squeezed his eyes shut as the eager whispering hissed in his ears.

Sam leaving out the front door.
All this won’t matter.
It won’t matter.

“Please, Dean?” Sam said softly. “You gotta tell me what’s going on.”

“It’s-It’s talking to me.” Dean growled, wanting to drag his hands up over his face and unable. “It’s saying things.”

“So?” Sam urged. “What’s it saying?”

Dean’s gaze hardened at the sight of the tape meticulously looped over his arms and legs. The mocking voice in his head answered in slurring syllables that ran into one another in one long string of garbled nonsense.


There was no need to keep him tied up like this. He was in complete control of himself and everything around him. Sam was choosing to leave him this way just to spite him. How could he not be trusted by his own brother?


Dean listened to the distorted word that never seemed to end.

“Okay, fine.” Sam impatiently conceded when no answer was forthcoming. “Tell me what it looks like.”

Dean felt his mouth contort into a deep frown.

“It’s a face.”

“A face.” Sam flung the rag down in exasperation. “What else?”

“It’s over there now.”

“Where?” Sam looked warily around. “Here?”

“It’s not a spook.” Dean felt the stab in his head throb against the backs of his eyes. “It-It’s not anything.”

Dean knew he wasn’t making any sense, but he couldn’t find his way around the fog in his head. His words, his sentences, were all on the tip of his tongue. But he couldn’t hold on to it long enough to say what he wanted to say. The thought of trying to explain all of that to Sam just intensified his headache. Screw it, he’d just forget trying to tell Sam what he was feeling, maybe he could just point his brother in right direction.

He searched the recesses of the cellar where the light didn’t quite reach.

“Over there.” Dean told him. “It’s in the corner.”

Sam turned and studied the shadows.

Dean watched the nebulous shape settle in the farthest of the gloom and begin to grow. It seeped towards the exposed broad beams while it dripped down into a thick puddle on the floor. After a few minutes, it had molded to the exact silhouette of the dark it had chosen. He was transfixed by its moving surface and as it undulated in place. The hunter’s eye that always strayed through his thoughts dazedly wondered if the creature was trying to hide. The notion was useless, considering Dean was looking right at it and Sam had no clue that it was even there in the first place.

“It’s right there.” He would have pointed but he couldn’t lift his hand. “Can’t you see it?”

“What’s it doing?” Sam asked carefully.

Dean didn’t miss the edge of skepticism in his brother’s voice.

“I don’t know.” He answered quietly.

Its rolling and fleshy surface mesmerized him. The dark sheen to its substance rippled like a sea creature drifting in a current. In his fixed observation, he realized it had formed the hollow eye sockets again. As he watched, he understood it was doing something after all. Observing him with unblinking eyes, it smiled with the psychotic blankness of a mask. It whispered to him softly, lulling him with its calm.

All this won’t matter.
It won’t matter.

Oblivious to its presence, Sam walked right next to it, making Dean’s heart lurch in his throat when its form expanded in aggression. Dean tensed in his chair when the thing graciously widened its mouth to allow Sam to pass the EMF meter carefully from ceiling to ground within the cavernous dimensions of its jaw. There were a few other tricks, outside of electronics, that sometimes revealed when something was concealed in plain sight. Dean watched Sam perform the basics: the murmur of prayers, the signs, and the symbols that would make a creature like this one flinch back as if exposed to an open flame.

But nothing happened.

“There’s nobody here, Dean.”

The dismissive tone in Sam’s voice made him start to feel ill again.

“There is something there.” He murmured through gritted teeth. “I’m looking right the hell at it.”

Dean’s fixated attention was suddenly drawn down by movement on the floor.

Another cold sweat broke out over his skin as a shimmering shape appeared on the ground at Sam’s feet. The shape darkened into a large circle, spreading and spinning into a greater size. Flat at first, its mass stretched upwards, slowly exploding red towards the ceiling with broad fleshy petals. Dean’s eyes shifted rapidly between his unaware brother and the laughing face forming within the gathering form.

“What?” Sam asked. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s trying to make me go nuts,” Dean snarled. “It’s trying to make me lose it.”

“M-Maybe, you’re…” Sam broke eye contact and shoved the meter in his jacket pocket. “Bobby said you might be seeing things. Maybe hearing things too.”

“Are you saying this shit is all in my head?” Dean asked. “Because for a bunch of make believe, it’s kinda kicking my ass—“

“I didn’t say that.”

Dean blinked in confusion as the looming shape over his brother suddenly vanished into thin air. His mind frantically groped back to what Sam had said about Bobby. The trip upstairs had included more than just some weapon checks. It sounded like Sam had made another phone call.

“Bobby, huh?” His fingernails dug into his palms. “He say anything else?”

When his brother didn’t immediately begin elaborating on the most important phone call in all of history, Dean felt his heart start to pound in his chest. The feel of the tape itched through his clothes. The need to stand and stretch his cramped limbs flooded his head until he thought he might start screaming. Hazy images of drifting snowflakes and a quieted iced pond came back along with the thudding pain in his temples.

Snow falling lazily from the gray sky and slowly burying this house.
Trapped in this basement.

“Pretend its Christmas, Sam.” Dean offered derisively. “Get a knife and start unwrapping—“

“Bobby’ll be here soon.” Sam promised, hands lacing and twisting as he paced the concrete floor. “Real soon.”

“He’s a state away.” The whine creeping up in his voice made him tighten his fists. “I’m not gonna sit around here all day--”

“Bobby said everything would be… would be fine.”

He watched, furious, as his brother walked over to the duffel bag and pushed things around. The quiet assembly and inspection of their tools made Dean sit up straighter in his seat. Sam’s stoic examination of the inventory without the merest discussion on how they should proceed made what was left of Dean’s nerves spark like livewires. Sam was considering a sloshing container filled with water. The only water they kept in those fancy plastic bottles was the holy kind.

“Now what?” Dean asked. “What’s that for—“

“Drink it.” Sam interrupted.

For a split second Dean wondered why he wasn’t just getting a splash of the stuff right in the face. But as Sam drew closer he knew exactly why that procedure wasn’t being made. His brother was offering the bottle because the kind of proof he required necessitated a little more than skin contact.

“No thanks.” He tried to grin but failed. “You know we always save the good shit for company.”

“There’s plenty more.” Sam mumbled. “But it might not do much to … to whatever you are.”

Dean felt his anger immediately weaken, a chill of fear washing down his back like ice water.

“I-I’m not anything.” He stuttered up at him. “I’m me.”

“Maybe.” Sam responded curtly.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“That card you looked at?” Sam slumped down on the lowest step of the stairs and squeezed the bottle. “It’s not a curse like we thought. Bobby said it’s different.”

He watched his brother shift uncomfortably to face the cellar wall. He wasn’t sure how many times it had happened already, but he abruptly realized Sam had been avoiding looking directly into his eyes every time they spoke. For the first time he wondered if the odd orange tint to his pupils had changed to something else.

“S-So what is it?” Dean asked cautiously. “What’s the card do?”

“Don’t know yet.”

Dean listened in disbelief as the comprehension of the words sunk in.

“I’m not possessed.” He breathed up at him. “Th-There’s nothing wrong with me!”

Dean tried desperately to blink back the fury.

Besides seeing weird faces and shouting belligerent crap like a whack job, there was nothing wrong with him. While he was making a list, he probably should add the slasher-flick red puke he seemed to have an in endless supply. The small detail of his eyes changing to the color of hell fire was sure sign of normalcy too—

His breath caught in his throat as his headache quadrupled.

All this won’t matter.
It won’t matter

As soon as he started to gather logical thoughts, the pain behind his eyes came crashing back to dash them to pieces. Dean fought the scrambled whisper of voices that tried to soothe away his agitation. Forcing the ramble of the blathering insistence back, he clenched his jaw and tried to cling onto his coherency.

He heard Sam’s determined sigh as he slowly got to his feet.

Dean stared at the innocuous bottle of water.

He didn’t want to drink it because he wasn’t actually sure what was going to happen. It might sear his esophagus like battery acid, or ease his dry throat. The stuff might boil his stomach lining or it might do nothing at all.

Dean jerked his face away when Sam pressed the nozzle to his lips.

“Don’t.” Sam said miserably. “Don’t make me do it.”

For a second Dean had no idea why his brother was looking at him so remorsefully. But then he took a look back at the waiting bottle of water and felt his throat constrict. If he thought he was getting the royal treatment now, any interesting effect he set off under the influence of holy water and this state of affairs was going to get a whole lot worse.

Dean did what he always did when he knew he was in big trouble; he thought real fast.

“There-there’s no one living around here,” he quickly stammered. “I’ll take off. No one will see me and whenever this wears off, I’ll come back. You know what it’ll be? It’ll be just fine—“

Sam was as gentle as he could be with someone completely unwilling to comply. Dean growled in frustration as the plastic slid into his mouth, the pour of water coming faster than he could possibly drink it. He tried to whip his head from side to side but Sam kept him firmly in place, keeping the flow going even when most of it was running down the sides of Dean’s face. When it finally stopped, Dean gasped and choked as he wheezed in air.

His mouth still half full, Dean tried to spit out what he could into Sam’s face.

The freezing room grew colder with his soaked shirt and the sting of frosty air on his wet face. Sam was watching him carefully, all the signs the deluge of blessed water would swiftly reveal failing to appear. His brother’s eyes brightened in a mixture of relief and regret. His hands gripped Dean over the tape, his silent apology crushing Dean’s forearms.

Sam slowly dragged a sleeve over his eyes.

“I told you…” Dean heard his voice crack. “There’s nothing wrong with me.”

His heart thudded in his ears; he wanted to tear his limbs free from their encasement and bash the heavy chair against the wall until it was nothing but tinder. The noise that whispered in the background of his mind rose back up and urged him to do what he wanted. Each foggy thought jolted into crystal clarity. He seethed with the knowledge of everything he would do once his hands were free. What he’d do with the blade Sam was keeping by the stairs. What he could do to prolong the process of measured and hideous retaliation.

Dean leaving out the front door.
The car driving down the long dirt road that wound its way to the highway.
Snow falling lazily from the gray sky and slowly burying this house.
Blood in this basement.

He liked it when Sam flinched at the sight of his sudden grin.

“You got it all backwards.” Dean told him. “We both know that if there’s anything wrong around here, it’s with you.”

Sam’s distressed gaze shifted into something else.

To his horror, Dean quickly realized what had come out of his mouth. He yelled over the urge to keep talking, fighting back the insane words that wanted to come rushing out along with it. He bit down on his lip until he tasted blood, ripping the thread of his thoughts out of the downward spiral of the madness. He had to get out of here and get far away from his brother. He had to make Sam listen and understand.

He didn’t have to summon any fake rage to fully illustrate his mood either.

“You listen to me.”

Sam’s wavering stance faltered further at the livid edge of his voice.

“There’s a couple hundred square miles of forest out there.” Dean told him. “I can make myself so scarce that even you wouldn’t be able to find me. I’ll walk into those woods and I won’t stop until I’m good and lost—“


Sam’s eyes had narrowed dangerously. Dean wasn’t very often on the receiving end of that look and he wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. However, at the moment he didn’t really care.

“Are you listening to me!” Dean shouted. “You have to—ah!

A fist clamped down on the flesh between Dean’s throat and shoulder. The fixed squeeze distracted him from his line of reasoning, but the hand that forced up his chin caused him to lose all train of rational thought all together. He figured out why Sam was avoiding looking him directly in the eyes; because whatever was there now was filling Sam with rancid loathing. His cheeks flushed with hatred at the sight and he swallowed, disgusted, for addressing it at all.

Sam’s voice was calm and steady.

“You’re not taking my brother anywhere.”

Dean blinked up at him in shock.

Sam’s wasn’t speaking to him. His brother was talking to whatever was nestled behind his new set of ugly eyes.


“You’ll either be gone in 24 hours, or I’ll find a way to kill you before then.”

Dean whimpered as his thoughts surged and collided inside his skull. He could no longer separate what he was thinking for himself and what was slithering through the cracks and igniting his rage.

Sam turned at a faint sound from the outside of the house. Dean looked up breathlessly at the familiar grind of tires rolling over the gravel driveway.

It looked like Bobby’s old truck had broken a few land records and arrived early.

“Oh man.” Sam exhaled in relief. “Thank god.”

Dean started to feel a glimmer of the same hope, but it was quickly obliterated by the agony gushing in a howling path inside his brain. Looking up in confusion at the light hanging brightly overhead, Dean watched everything grow dark. The cellar descended into a garish red glow as if the glass bulb had been splattered in blood. He could feel the tape over his wrists loosen and the wrap around his ankles and legs go slack. The burning sting of the invisible blade left his clothing cut to his slashed skin.

Raising his trembling hands, he slowly understood he was free.


He watched Sam stop in his eager turn towards the stairs. The exhausted smile of relief faded as he saw Dean standing unfettered behind him. Sam stumbled on the bottom step as he backed up into it.


Dean saw the red light gather into a shape above their heads. He knew well enough by now that his brother couldn’t see any of it. He knew without a doubt that Sam certainly couldn’t hear the impatient voices that buzzed and sizzled through the air like insects.

All this won’t matter.
It won’t matter.
Because there’s nothing wrong with you, Dean.

The monstrous face that congealed across the ceiling smiled down on him and Dean found himself smiling back up.

He knew exactly what he had to do next.


(in sam pov?!)

Tags: tripwire
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