sequel to: With a Bang and The Aftershocks
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. Everything continues to really
After a couple days went by the house started to look something close to normal again.
The place had never been quite that orderly in the first place so a few extra piles of crap where there had been none before didn’t seem like such a big deal. All the missing doors either got screwed back into place or some plastic tarp stapled in to keep the rain out.
Bobby spent some time to get reacquainted with the jumpy apparition of Pastor Jim. As the new windows were slowly installed Dean got to know his power tools a whole lot better too. And to Sam’s surprise, Alec dropped his usual busy schedule that kept him out at all hours and started to stick close to home. The only member of the household not getting back into the groove of things was Sam, but he knew exactly where he needed to pick up again. Unfortunately, resuming normalcy meant taking back up his duties in the church no matter how little he felt like doing it.
His fingers traced the frail pages of prayer in the book on his desk…
forgive all our misdeeds
and wipe away our sin,
for you are great and compassionate;
your mercy knows no bounds.
My heart lies before you, O my God.
Look deep within it.
See these memories of mine, for you are my hope.
Placing a leather bookmark by the chapter he was going to use during the service, Sam let out a few deep breaths in an attempt to relax. For some reason the deceit he practiced for so many years on the citizens of the town had never felt as utterly abhorrent to him as it did now. It had been a long time since putting on the collar had incited any guilt, but he figured that these days he had more than enough shame to spread around and share with everybody.
He turned at the sound of Alec’s voice.
“Sam? Are you home?”
“Up here, Alec.”
Setting the large bible aside, he finished removing his regular shirt and pulled out a clean one out of the closet to wear. After pulling a brush through his hair and tossing cold water across his face, he might almost appear like a sane person that had gotten some sleep sometime in the last week.
“Up where?” Alec asked from the stairs.
The question made Sam heavy with a melancholy he hadn‘t been able to shake since the night Alec ran away. There was a time not long ago when his son would have simply reached out with a venturing thought as easily as speaking his name.
“Down the hall,” Sam said. “In the office.”
Sam couldn’t feel him coming closer but he could easily hear the footsteps on the floorboards.
Alec looked so calm all the time these days. The anxious and happy energy Sam had learned to anticipate had been replaced with something watchful and patient. He wasn’t sure how you were supposed to miss someone who was standing right in front of you, but he did.
“Sam, I was wondering if I could--”
“Alec, do you have a few minutes? I know you’re busy but I really think we should talk for a little while.” Sam had tried to have a real talk every time they were alone, but he quickly discovered after several attempts that Alec had been doing his best never to be caught alone for very long. “I’d like to talk about that woman who possessed you, the one that made you hurt yourself and what I did--”
“I don’t want to talk about that,” Alec interrupted. “It’s over and I want to put it behind us.”
“I said forget it,” Alec’s pained expression shifted into something else. “That should be no problem at all right? Not for you.”
It was Sam’s turn to lower his eyes. Whenever he did manage any communication with Alec, there was a lot of this. A causal cruelty in his words that never failed to quickly and effectively shut Sam up. After he finished buttoning his black shirt, he picked up the white collar. “What were you going to ask me?”
Alec suddenly was looking at everything but Sam for some reason. “I wanted to know if I could borrow your truck.”
“You know you don’t have to ask me things like that, Alec,” Sam felt a tug of sadness again. “You can take any of the cars whenever you’d like. Just, you know, watch your back if you’re thinking of the Chevy.”
Alec finally took his gaze off the floor and reluctantly looked at him.
Adjusting the starched white collar in the mirror, Sam glanced over his shoulder to see what the problem was. Eyes wide and mouth slightly agape, Alec was trying his best not to stare. And if Sam didn’t know any better he would have said his son was staring at his freshly pressed clerical blacks.
“Is something wrong, Alec?”
“Yeah. I mean no,” Alec was nodding and then shaking his head. “Y-You just look really nice that‘s all.”
Sam’s mouth twitched but he didn’t smile. Alec had given the strange compliment of ‘nice’ almost literally. Like Sam looked ‘good’ opposed to ‘bad’. Virtuous verses Evil.
Then it happened.
Something burst repeatedly behind Sam’s eyes like the blinding flash of a camera going off at high speed. Squeezing his hand into a fist on his desk, he feigned the impact so Alec wouldn’t be aware that he’d felt it. Something was getting past the wall Alec had set up around his mind and whatever it was, it was the first thing Sam had sensed from him in days. Stretching his mind out wide like a net, Sam attempted to catch whatever he could before it sputtered out and turned dark again.
Sam groaned when it struck harder.
It was a surge of longing so deep and desperate that Sam would have called it desire if it hadn’t been from his own son… It flickered again, on and off with the images of vaulted ceilings and stretches of stained glass that Sam had never seen before. The hollow echo of a priest’s voice recited an evening prayer and the shimmer of red votives illuminated the plaster statues of the each and every saint…
stone steps lit by candlelight
the gentle visage of the Virgin
looking down over the bleeding body of the Christ Child in Her arms--
“Are you okay, Sam?”
For the second time that week Alec’s arms were around him and Sam wasn’t sure why. Looking around the room in confusion, Sam realized his legs and knees were shaking too badly to keep himself standing.
“You felt that didn’t you?” Alec looked vaguely guilty. “I’m really sorry. I‘ve been trying so hard not to do that. And let me tell ya, hiding from you isn‘t easy.”
He was guided to a chair and sat down, dully aware of Alec’s fingers on his face and mouth in an oddly intimate gesture before pulling away.
“Alec, w-what happened?”
“I want you to forget what you just saw.”
“What? No. What was that, Alec? What did you do--”
“I said to forget it,” Alec‘s gaze softened. “Forget all of it right now.”
Sam blinked and suddenly wondered when he had taken a seat across the room. He didn’t recall sitting down and he didn’t know how all those books got knocked onto the floor either. Looking with faint panic at his watch, he realized he had to get to the church. Nothing was ready and he hadn‘t been in the place in days.
But Alec was looking at him expectantly and he had no idea why.
“I’m sorry…,” Sam felt the start of a headache begin to throb behind his eyes. “… did… did you just say something?”
“Are you giving a sermon soon?” Alec asked.
“Sermon,” Sam put his hand on the bible on his desk. “I was preparing a sermon.”
“When is it, Sam?”
“In fifteen minutes,” he found his satchel and shoved the bible in it. “I-I‘m gonna be late.”
Alec looked hesitant to leave, finding books and papers on the shelves as an excuse to stay. His son had been avoiding him so much lately that Sam felt the urge to take an opportunity when he saw one.
“Would-would you like to help me set up for the service?” Sam asked.
“Yes,” Alec said immediately. “I would like to do that.”
Sam knew he should have been more cautious at his willingness, but he couldn’t help feeling a deep seated relief when Alec followed him outside and into the church. He had long since decided that he had to keep the boy in sight as much as possible for now. His son’s behavior was getting too offbeat to dismiss to a fight no matter how horrible it had been. In fact, Alec’s eagerness to put the bibles in the pews helped Sam come to another decision that he hadn’t quite come to terms with yet.
It was time to let Bobby do some work.
The plan was simple, but it didn’t make Sam feel any better.
“You wanna get him wasted?” Dean asked. “Is that really wise?”
“Bobby needs some time,” Sam said. “This is the only way without getting Alec… upset.”
“You think the kid is going to just sleep right through one of Bobby’s rituals?”
“Yes,” Sam sat back on the sofa. “All it requires is some reading. And a physical exam.”
They’d estimated about an hour of privacy before Bobby and Alec returned from their fake errand in town, and Sam was using it to get ready. All that was really required was a set of glasses out on the table and the pretense that it was time for a celebration, but he also had to gear his mind up too. Because if he wasn’t as neatly blank as Alec was, his son might be able to read his intentions from a mile away.
“We checked him all over in Seattle,” Dean said. “Matter of fact, it was the first thing we did after we all introduced ourselves.”
“Your point being?”
“My point being that the only thing we found was his bar code and that‘s all we‘re gonna find now.”
“We don’t know that for sure.”
“You heard what Bobby said as well I did. Alec shows no signs of possession. He waltzes in and out the traps, he’s kept down a few gallons of holy water and he’s even wearing the old necklace Bobby gave you before we got inked.”
“Then maybe all that means is that its not a form of possession,“ Sam mumbled. “Maybe it’s something we’ve never seen before.”
“What haven’t we seen before?” Dean demanded.
“That’s a good question.”
His brother yanked back the curtain on the look out for Alec and Bobby’s return. Sam didn’t like the real reason neither one of them had spoken their fears about Alec out loud until now. Everyone had been keeping quiet and walking on eggshells because of Alec’s constant presence in the house and the possibility of being overheard. They were painfully aware of what could happen when an enraged X5 lost control and no one was ready to see it happen again.
Sam didn’t want to admit that everyone had become a little bit afraid of Alec.
“It just seems like its happening too fast,“ Dean poured himself a shot of bourbon and swallowed it slow. “I don’t like this.”
Sam understood what Dean meant. All of this felt like an orchestrated betrayal of the boy’s trust but there were too many things were going on that couldn’t be ignored any longer. Sam knew that if something hadn’t already happened, something was coming and he had to stop it before this situation spun even further out of his control…
“When are they coming back?” Dean asked.
Sam glanced uneasily at the clock. “’Bout an hour maybe.”
Sitting down and standing up a few times, Dean decided to stay standing. His agitation shifting into a nervousness that made Sam even more anxious than he already was.
“We got some time to talk then, Sam.”
He’d had plenty of time alone with his brother over the past few days and he had known with an absolute certainty that Dean was going to start this dreaded conversation eventually. Even if Alec had told him nothing about what Sam had done, Dean never had any trouble knowing when Sam had something to hide.
“I-I have something I got to tell you, Sammy.”
Sam stilled at the words he hadn‘t been expecting to hear.
“I didn’t want to say anything because with everything going on I figured… well, I figured I was just tired but…but I…”
“Dean?” Sam instinctively got scared whenever he realized his older brother was too. “What is it?”
“That other night, I uh,” Dean laughed nervously. “I guess I’m having a little trouble remembering what happened. Like whole hours are gone and I don‘t know what I was doing.”
Sam scrubbed his hands over his face and slowly sunk down onto the sofa. So this was it. Dean actually remembered not remembering Sam‘s cover up with the dead woman‘s ashes. A million explanations raced through Sam’s head and left him without anything to say at all.
“I slept real hard after, and I do remember going to bed that night, but I barely remember talking to Alec out there. But I don’t remember the drive home from the Smith house at all.”
Sam paused to study his brother’s face. “Wait… wait… you’re having trouble remembering which night exactly?”
“The other night,” Dean downed another shot. “The night you guys blew up the house and Alec took off.”
Alec had gone up to the Smith house days after they buried the suicide. And although Sam was profoundly relieved that Dean was talking about that night, he also felt a fierce surge of anger at the thought that anyone else could have possibly tampered with his brother’s head. Someone who had abilities like Sam did. Someone who would know precisely how to cut and trim away a man’s mind until only what they wanted was left behind…
“Dean, this is really important,” Sam said carefully. “You have to tell me exactly what you do remember.”
“Don’t talk to me like that.”
“Like some little kid!”
“I’m sorry, I just, look, something weird has been going on here ever since that night and-”
“No kidding!” Dean stood up and started pacing. “Alec never leaves the freakin’ house now. Not even the backyard. He doesn’t do anything but hang out in the church.”
“What?” Sam blinked in confusion. “I’ve only seen him in there a few times during services.”
“You don’t see him because he’s in there whenever you aren’t.”
“He’s been acting like a freak ever since you guys had that fight,” Dean said. “And so have you, Sam.”
Sam opened his mouth and shut it again.
Dean looked like he wanted to stay on the other side of the room with the whiskey but he took a deep breath before taking a seat next to Sam on the couch. Slugging back another shot, he braced himself before clearing his throat and settling his elbows on his knees.
“I remember it was a real nice night, right?”
Sam listened closely.
“I closed up the garage and my phone started ringing. I didn‘t recognize the ID on it but it was Alec,” his ring nervously tapped against the bottle. “I remember him crying real hard and telling me where he was.”
“I remember pulling up to the Smith house. I remember Alec being there and then… and then all of a sudden I was back here again. Front door was knocked down and everything was everywhere. I-I grabbed my gun and a flashlight and I found you out back,” Dean sighed. “You know the rest.”
Sam sat back and resisted the urge to cover his face again.
“You don’t think that …maybe…the way Alec‘s been actin‘….” Dean fidgeted with the shot glass in his hands. “You don’t think that Alec did something to me? Something to my head?”
Squeezing his eyes shut, Sam tried not to hear the wounded edge to his brother’s voice. The waver of betrayal, the hurt and anger.
“Well, whatever,” Dean breathed and tried to put a smile back in place. “Bobby will figure it out right?”
“Yeah,” Sam didn’t know what else to say. “I’m sure he will.”
“But this ain’t gonna do it,” Dean picked up the near depleted whiskey. “Not even close. I‘ve watched this kid close a bar down and walk a straight line to the car.”
They didn’t exactly have time to go buy another ten cases of malt liquor. Thinking of some of the dusty wine bottles down in the basement, Sam heard the rattle of pills before he saw the plastic bottle in his brother’s hand.
“Smash a few of them up,“ Dean tossed it to him. “It’ll give us the time we need to check him out.”
It appeared that his brother wasn’t so opposed to the tactic as Sam thought.
“Sam, there’s one other thing… I don’t know if I should even say it, because it’s probably nothing. I think it might even sound a little nuts.”
“I dunno,“ Sam considered the bottle of pills. “Nothing right now would sound bizarre to me.”
“Well, when I drove up to the Smith house that night, I had to park down the road because of that tree that fell out front and … and when I was walking up to the place I thought I heard Alec talking to someone inside, but it was loud, like a fight.”
They both turned at the sound of Bobby’s car pulling up in front of the house.
“Then I saw Alec standing by the window, and I could have sworn for a second that he wasn’t standing there alone.”
“What do you mean?” Sam didn’t like the bewildered look on his brother’s face. “Who was with him?”
Dean grabbed the whiskey bottle again. “That’s just it, it looked like Alec was standing right next to… himself.”
The front door opened loudly on its hinges, Bobby carrying a six pack and Alec carrying two cases of Bud under each arm. The boy had a reasonable facsimile of a smile on his face, set perfectly in place like every canned emotion Sam had seen in the past few days.
“You boys ready for the game?” Bobby winked. “All bets must be placed on the table before kick-off.”
“I’m gonna go for the ten-point spread,” Alec said. “I figure why not right? I didn’t really need that hundred bucks anyway.”
“Thatta boy,” Bobby said. “Doesn’t pay to live it safe.”
Sam watched Dean force himself not to flinch when Alec patted him on the arm. He watched Bobby play the scene like an actor out to get an award. But listening to Alec’s measured laughter, he couldn’t help staring once again at the detachment in his son’s eyes. And all at once it occurred to him that the familiar color, shape and feel of a body would be a perfect guise to hide in if you were indeed, not hiding anything at all.
Sam stared at the human being that moved and spoke like his son.
This could be a case where a person was not in anyway being manipulated, coerced or controlled. Sam allowed himself to consider that all of his son’s atypical displays of emotion and strange cruelty might instead be someone else’s poor attempt at imitating the real thing. The young man wearing Alec’s jacket and boots might just be a bad copy that was walking undetected amongst them because of a naturally identical face that no one would think twice to question.
“Want a beer, Sam?” Alec held out one of the frosty bottles.
Sam slowly took it and made sure he did it with a big smile.
Only one of them will find you. The smartest. The fastest. The most dangerous.
For the very first time it occurred to Sam that his father might not have meant a demon.
But another X5.
go to part 7