Title: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen & Aftershock Sixteen
Also: Minor Tremors parts One & Two
Continued in: Not a Whimper
accompaniment(s) to: With a Bang
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. Sam recalls the first time he ever made anyone forget.
Sam lay down next to Dean on the narrow bed and watched him all night.
Every now and then he touched the glimmer of his brother’s dreaming mind to reassure himself that nothing was wrong. Dean’s chest rose and fell as he peacefully slept with that little cat nestled comfortably in the curve of his neck and shoulder. As the hours passed, Sam accidentally brushed against the tiny flicker of the cat a few times, the flutter of its own dream swift and bright with sunlight through tall green grass. Letting his fingers linger in its tiger striped fur, Sam tried Alec’s phone again but he knew his son wouldn’t pick up. He left a message instead.
Come home soon.
Just come home.
If Sam pushed hard enough he could see the glare of the headlights lighting up the walls of corn on either side of the dirt road Alec was driving down. If he pushed a little harder he could even feel the dull ache from the cut of the razor. Dean groaned when his hazy dreams suddenly sharpened into a crystal clear vision of Alec slowly drawing the thin blade across his flesh.
“No,” Sam muttered. “Damn it. No.”
He couldn’t let his mind wander. Not now. Making a fist, he willed away Dean’s dream and replaced it with nothing at all. His brother settled back down and let out a sigh before the steady shallow cadence of breathing resumed. Sam rolled onto his back and tried to think about something else. But all he could think about was the first time he’d ever messed with anyone’s head.
The very first time he’d done it had been an accident.
It had also been just over ten years ago to the day.
He could still feel that scorching summer heat out in the middle of the Nevada desert. It had all started with a package from Bobby arriving early in the morning to their motel room. Sam had sat looking at the box for an hour before Dean took it from him and opened it. Inside was all the intel they had ever needed to authenticate the existence of a ten year old boy with the designation of X5-331845739494.
The government hard drive Bobby had appropriated was filled with countless reports on X5-494’s kill ratios, injury stats and pedagogic aptitude tests. Dates of surgery. Tags for exceptional performance. Notation for disciplinary action. The only information missing from the reams of hideous detail was a way to find him.
Sam was disturbed from his thoughts when Dean stirred in his sleep.
They had driven all day after looking through those reports. Driving fast to nowhere at all. Sam remembered that they were both so angry that they wanted to hurt someone but all they had was each other. Dean had pulled over so they could stop the shouting match in the car and turn their frustration into a physical fight. But they didn’t get very far because as soon as Sam grabbed his brother by the shoulder to take a swing, he also made a wish right out loud under the hot desert sky.
And then it happened.
One second Sam was shouting in his brother’s face and then next thing Sam knew he was back riding shot gun in the car. Staring at the passing roadside, it took a full minute before it sunk in that he’d lost time. Flashes of the fight on the cracked asphalt came back to him in bits and pieces. He figured out soon enough that Dean didn’t recall any of it at all. His brother didn’t remember pulling the car over or even getting in the right hook that almost dislocated Sam’s jaw. But Sam had known right then and there that he had been responsible. Somehow he had erased both of their heads with one burst of emotion that he hadn’t been able to control. He thought about telling Dean but he never knew how to explain it.
So as the years went by he never did.
The next time he worked the magic had been on a cop who pulled him over when he’d been driving alone. The third was a woman who’d had witnessed the death of her infant son. The fourth was a kid behind a cash register when Sam didn’t have enough money. He couldn’t count how many other times it had happened between the very first and Alec, but he had never again purposefully applied the ploy to his brother.
And when Dean went down this time it’d barely even felt like trying.
Sam got up off the bed when his brother’s consciousness started to naturally drift back up towards waking. He went to the kitchen and emptied a case of beer in the sink so there would be some bottles sitting around for Dean to consider along with his headache. Pushing the kitchen window open, he tried to fight back the sensation of the air being too thick to breathe.
He squeezed his eyes shut to the gray glow of dawn.
Alec had succumbed to something Sam had thought was as noxious and harmless as the scent of rotting meat. All Sam wanted right now was Alec to be able to fend off simple phantoms that rose to find living flesh as naturally as the moon pulled the tides. He wanted his son to learn now what it had taken him a lifetime to figure out. He didn’t want every lonely suicide drifting through the ether to turn his child into a playground—
He blinked at the sight of Alec standing on the back porch steps.
“Alec,” Sam breathed in surprise. “Hey.”
“I ran out of gas,” Alec said. “I had to walk.” Instead of coming to the door, he sat down on the steps.
The splintered wood under Sam’s bare feet was wet and cold, but the crisp morning cleared his head. He took a seat next to Alec and realized he was glad that he had been surprised by his son’s presence. But Sam’s smile faded as he pushed and couldn’t feel anything coming from his son at all. “Long night,” he ventured. “You must be tired.”
“Are you hungry?” Sam wanted him to come inside. “I could make some steak and eggs if you want.”
“W-What is that?”
“It’s the serial number from my first handgun,” Alec yanked at the weeds growing up through the stairs. “We were issued our own weapons when we got big enough to carry one.”
Sam clenched his jaw but kept silent.
“I’ve never forgotten anything in my entire life. Even stupid little things that people aren’t supposed to keep around. If I need it, I can look it up. Like… like hitting rewind. But I can’t remember what happened the other night.”
“I told you it was an accident—“
“I don’t think it was,” Alec bounced his knee in agitation. “I think it was my fault and I think I should… I think I—”
“It was a ghost,” Sam quickly said. “From the funeral.”
Alec looked swiftly over at him with dull recognition in his eyes. Sam knew Alec could tap into what he’d experienced the previous day at the wake, but that was all there was before his recall went blank.
“That woman?” Alec asked hopefully. “You think it was that woman?”
“You have to understand that these things… the people you can hear… they have the ability to harm you if you aren’t extremely careful.”
Alec rubbed his arm that was bandaged under the sleeve of his jacket. He suddenly let the anxiety he was holding back surface, his eyes searching the cornfields around them as if anything could emerge from thin air at any moment.
“Alec, stop.” Sam took Alec’s hand and tried to sooth the roar that was growing in his son’s head. “Don’t be afraid.”
Alec didn’t take his hand away.
“I’m not going to let anything happen to you,” Sam told him. “Soon all this stuff will be nothing but radio static. You’ll be able to tune it out and make it into white noise.”
“It’s going to be okay, Alec,” Sam decided to say what had been playing back and forth in the back of his mind. “You just need some more training.”
His son looked him hesitantly in the eyes before giving him an uncertain nod. “Like target practice. Right?”
Wondering exactly how he’d be able to provide the instruction Alec needed, Sam suddenly had an idea. “I want you to get some sleep,” he got up and pulled Alec to his feet. “We’re going out tonight.”
Before Alec could ask where, the back door banged open on the rusted hinges. Dean took a few steps out on to the porch, squinting at the sunrise and holding his head.
“Sleep, okay?” Sam squeezed Alec’s hand hard before he let it go. “You look beat.”
“Speak for yourself,” Alec mumbled. “You don’t look so hot either.”
“Where’s the damn car?” Dean demanded.
Easing past his brother, Sam left Alec to explain his evening out.
Shutting his bedroom door behind him, Sam dug out a bottle of pills he kept in the back of his top dresser drawer. He chewed the capsules dry to guarantee the next eight hours would be solid sleep. No light dozing. No laying around in a half-haze. Nothing but a deep dark hole that even his alarm clock couldn’t dig him out of. Until he had a handle on his own head he wasn’t taking any chances. Laying down on the bed, he took out his phone one more time and dialed a number he hadn’t called in a long time. It rang ten times before anyone picked up on the other side.
“It’s Sam Winchester. I’m calling in that favor you owe me.”
The tired man on the other end of the line paused before asking what exactly Sam would be needing.
“I need to get into the county morgue.”
The guy didn’t pause this time when he asked for a time.
“After midnight,” Sam said. “And I’ll be bringing a friend.”
The tug of the drugs lulled his eyes closed as he switched his phone off. Sam needed a few hours of privacy down in that refrigerated basement. But most of all, he needed to show Alec a thing or two about the other side of the family business. As he started to feel himself slip under the edge of sleep, he was glad that he’d taken three times the recommended dosage on the pills.
A few hours of black out were as close to forgetting as Sam could afford to get.
go to part one of 'Not a Whimper'