Title: Not a Whimper: part 1 - part 2 - part 3 - part 4 - part 5 - part 6 - part 7 - part 8 - part 9 - part 10 *Completed*
sequel to: With a Bang and The Aftershocks
Rating: SPN/DA Crossover - R - Gen – AU in the year 2020
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & DA characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Bobby POV. Everything continues to
By the time Bobby made it to the church doors, Dean was nowhere in sight.
The rain was coming down in sheets, flowing off the old steeple roof and running down the vestibule steps like a waterfall. Even though the storm hadn’t knocked out the power none of the lamps were on, the empty pews briefly illuminated by the lightening flashing through the stained glass. Shouldering a duffel and his rifle, Bobby headed down the center aisle as fast as he could go. If memory served, the older crypts were down on the south side of the building where Jim used to keep his arsenal. Bobby paused at the top of the steep stairs to listen.
Somewhere down in the basement, he could hear the sound of metal striking repeatedly against stone.
Cursing his bum knees, he tossed the bag down ahead of him so he could use both hands on the railings. It felt like an eternity by the time he ran out of steps but at least the lights were on down here. He followed the noise until he was headed down another staircase that curved around the boiler room and went directly under the crumbling foundation. The glare of the overhead fluorescents seemed too bright in the narrow corridor of extravagant tombs.
Bobby stopped in his tracks when the clanging abruptly ceased and something large and heavy crashed onto the floor.
There was only one more corner to turn.
A marble slab that had covered the coffin lay like giant puzzle pieces where it had shattered on the ground. Dean had wedged it free with a crowbar and somehow managed to slide the massive thing off all by himself. Bobby kept his distance to give him room to climb over the broken stone to get inside.
“B-Bobby,” Dean panted. “He’s in here.”
Tossing his rifle aside, Bobby held out his hands to the sheet covered body Dean had pulled free from the casket’s confines. Helping as best he could to ease the wrapped form onto the floor, Bobby’s racing heart began to beat even faster. Alec had been loosely but carefully swathed in white cotton material. Not many people in the Western world used death shrouds anymore, and Bobby hadn’t personally seen one outside of a textbook since he’d been down in the Caribbean digging up bad voodoo.
“Alec?” Dean was ripping the layers of cloth away. “A-Alec, I’m here.”
Once the kid’s face was uncovered, Bobby understood how Sam and Dean had been deceived for so long. Their boy and the clone back in the house were identical in every way. But besides some deep cuts across his cheeks, this boy’s skin was as white as the alabaster saint that sat propped against the opposite wall. And the boy didn’t appear to be breathing. Dean was having trouble himself, winded from swinging a crowbar and hands shaking so bad he could barely hold Alec’s wrist to check for a pulse.
“Okay, son,” Bobby guided him aside with a hand on the shoulder. “You just sit tight for now.”
“He’s cold, Bobby,” Dean said. “He’s too cold.”
“Just shush up for a second,” Bobby worked Alec’s arms free of the sheets and checked the pale skin. “Go get me my bag. I dropped it somewhere on the stairs.”
Dean was up and gone.
Bobby lifted Alec’s eyelids to examine his cloudy pupils. He’d seen all sorts of death before and he’d seen all of the shades that existed in between, but this was a new one. No signs of respiratory activity, no necromancy symbols on the palms and not even a trace of sulfur. With professional interest he took off his hat so he could properly lay his ear against the kid’s chest. After a full minute went by he heard the slow but unmistakable thump of a heartbeat.
“I found it,” Dean skidded down onto the floor next to him with the duffel. “What do you need, what do we do--”
“Help me up, son,” Bobby began the laborious process of getting back up onto his feet. “We got to do what Sam said and bring him back to Ben.”
“No, Bobby. No way.”
“There’s nothing I can do,” he sighed. “He put the boy’s soul somewhere and he can find it again.”
A sound thudded above and shook the ground below their feet.
“What the hell?” Dean looked up at the ceiling. “Do… Do you hear that?”
Bobby, in fact, could hear something.
There was the steady creak of the floorboards above as if hundreds of people were swarming to their seats in the pews. The soft echo of parishioner’s conversation shushed with the clear and commanding words of The Lord’s Prayer. And if he didn‘t know any better, Bobby would say it sounded like Sam was delivering a late night mass to a congregation of ghosts.
“Come on,” Dean said. “Let’s get Alec out of here.”
The sound of Sam’s voice grew louder and louder as they moved up each flight of stairs. The volume became so immense that Bobby was convinced there were some amplifiers hooked up in the rafters that he wasn’t aware of. And as deafening as the bellow of Latin was, each word also began to warp and change, like something was pushing the syllables backwards and forwards through Sam’s throat.
When they reached the church floor they found it as empty as Bobby had last seen it except for the pulpit.
“Sam?” Dean called out. “Sammy!”
Bobby had never seen Sam dressed in a cassock before, the long-sleeved garment that ended at the ankle seemingly as dated as the shroud that had been draped around the body in Dean‘s arms. When Sam turned to look at them, Bobby saw the sweep of black cloth flare and was reminded of the uniform of a soldier, only the band of white at Sam’s throat marking him as an agent of peace rather than war.
“Please,” Sam’s eyes glinted gold in the soft candlelight. “Don’t come any closer.”
“Keep reading, Sam,” Ben said from beside him. “We’re almost there.”
Dean had knelt on the floor to lay Alec down behind the furthest pew, putting his flannel over the kid although there was no body heat left there to preserve. Staying close to his side, Bobby took Dean’s arm so he wouldn’t venture any further in the meager light of the flickering candles.
“His eyes,” Dean said. “Is he--”
“No,” Bobby said. “Think those are what come… natural.”
For Dean’s sake he decided not to finish the sentence like he wanted to. That pretty gold looked a whole lot like the eyes of the demon that made Sam what he was. Wondering how often that grotesque gleam seeped through whenever Sam was settled too deep in his power, Bobby redirected his attention to the echo of prayer still echoing through the church.
“What are they doin’?” Dean whispered.
“Not sure,” Bobby could feel something charged in the air, like a lightening strike or the buzz off a power line. It smelled like something was about to burn. “But it ain’t any good.”
Then he caught something moving in the corner of his eye.
It wasn’t much but a thin sliver of radiance that chased itself in a circle before it winked out. He blinked in case he was seeing things, but it quickly happened again, right in the center of the room and near the ceiling. They both backed up in a hurry when the circle of light started to whip around in a frenzy, sinking lower and lower until it sizzled into the floor like a branding iron. Everything within its circumference, wooden pews and steel candelabras, began smoldering and melting as it spun so fast it turned into a solid ring of fire.
“Well I’ll be,” Bobby muttered in awe. “Don’t let it touch you, Dean. Don‘t get near it even!”
“What the hell is that thing!”
“It’s… It’s a damn gate.”
“It can’t be…” Dean stepped towards Alec’s still body. “I never seen a gate that looks like that! Gates look like… gates!”
Bobby narrowed his gaze at Ben who was watching the dancing light with the wonder of a child. “That damn fool went and made one,” he realized. “Out of nothing.”
“But how?“ Dean threw up his arm when it suddenly began to flash and flare. “No one can just call one up like that! Even if yer souped up like Sam!”
“Not alone they can’t,” Bobby looked up at the sculpture of the crucifixion hanging behind Sam and Ben. “There’s something else in here. Something used for summoning.” His gaze fell on the large bible that lay open on the pulpit.
The light crackled and brightened, drowning out the lightening flashing outside the tall windows.
“Sam!” Dean yelled over the noise. “Sammy can you hear me!”
Sam had fallen to his knees, his head bowed and his hands clasped together in prayer.
“Ben got to him,” Dean took Bobby’s rifle. “That bastard did something to him.”
Bobby had been hoping it would take longer for Dean’s shock to wear off because he wasn’t ready to charge in just yet. “Hold on a second, son,” he tried. “Take it easy now. Let‘s just think before we--”
But Dean had already pushed past him and was moving steady up the outside aisle just outside the flames. Checking both barrels before leveling the weapon right for Ben’s head, Dean got ready to end all of it the messy and fast way. But before Bobby could shout a warning he saw Dean had frozen in his tracks with no discharge coming from his weapon.
The transgenic was holding up his hand in Dean’s direction like he was halting traffic.
“I’m surprised at you, Uncle Dean,“ Ben’s gaze refocused on the double barrel of the rifle pointed at his face. “What kind of monster would try to harm his own family?”
Gathering up his duffel, Bobby moved as close up behind Dean as he could. Sam was still declaiming prayer so fast and quick it sounded like another language entirely, each word practically turning visible as the dull glow of Sam’s eyes. Barely glancing in Bobby’s direction, Ben had already decided to ignore the aged hunter completely. But Bobby didn’t mind the dismissal of a feeble and harmless old man one bit.
In fact, he was counting on it.
Two-half breed demons might be plenty powerful, but something was helping them along and it could be an item just as incidental as a religious talisman that Sam used everyday without thinking twice. And something that a boy like Ben would recognize at once when he saw it.
Bobby stepped closer to the big bible sitting open on the pulpit.
“I have been saving something for you, Dean,” Ben came forward to tap the barrel of the rifle. “Saving it for a moment just like this.”
“You better make it quick,” Dean’s hand worked on the trigger. “Because you and your moments are running out fast.”
Ben smiled at him indulgently. “Do you remember the ashes?” he asked. “They were scattered in the cornfield like snow.”
Sam’s rapid prayer abruptly stopped mid-sentence.
“Ashes?” Dean repeated. “Sure. I see a lot of them in my line of work.”
Sam slowly stood up, his gold eyes searching the room as if their tint had rendered him blind.
“She was a lonely used up suicide,” Ben said. “But she wouldn’t stay asleep.”
Bobby saw Dean’s grip on the rifle tighten.
“Sam heard her crying alone in the dark,” Ben explained. “But no one told her that when Sam comes calling that you better run and hide. Because when he finds the lost he drags them back kicking and screaming into their own small pieces of hell. He lets them burn and writhe there because he likes how he can bring back anything when he wants. Sam Winchester doesn‘t have to be careful. He just has to be right.”
“B-Ben,” Sam rasped. “No… stop it.”
“But he played with that dead woman for too long,” Ben said. “Then she found Alec and made him carve himself up with a razor blade so he would be dead too. The only reason she didn‘t finish the job was because your brother happened to walk in on the second act.”
“Sammy?” Dean’s voice wavered.
“That’s not even the best part, Dean,” Ben assured him sadly. “The best part is that you almost figured it all out on your own. But Sam put a cap on that real quick. He put you to bed and soothed all the bad thoughts away just like that. Any of this coming back to you, Dean? I think it is.”
Looking nervously at Dean, Bobby watched the business end of the rifle begin to shake.
“And well, honestly after all these years with one another,” Ben sighed. “Who knows what kind of games your brother has been playing with your head and just never bothered to mention.”
“I said stop it,” Sam pleaded. “Stop it now.”
Dean had gone pale, the rifle lowered to the ground. He could move again, Ben’s hold on him was released, but all he did was stumble backwards until he hit the pews.
“Look out,” Ben warned with a grin. “The way things are going? Sam might want to try it again.”
“Dean…” Sam’s voice broke, his blind gold eyes frantically searching the room. “I just wanted to make everything back the way it was. All I wanted was to keep Alec safe… that’s all I wanted… I can’t let anything take him away from me again… I can‘t, Dean… I can‘t…”
Dean said nothing.
There was no explosion of outrage. No harsh words or the crack of a fist. All Bobby could see in the absence of all anger on Dean‘s face, was the simple and lost look of disappointment.
Ben gasped in ecstasy as the gate began to shimmer with a monstrous brilliance.
Bracing himself for the stench of rot on a steaming rancid wind, Bobby blinked in confusion at the strange cool air he felt brush against his face instead. The dazzle of lights played at his eyes in a kaleidoscope of shifting color, that were every shade on the spectrum yet none at all. He didn’t know exactly how this gate had been formed, but it sure as shit wasn’t like anything he’d ever seen before. The churning air grew warmer when its edges crackled an ugly violet, its insides boiling from black and then to pure white over and over again.
“I see Her,” Ben’s gaze was locked on something Bobby couldn’t see. “She’s waiting for me.”
“Wait!” Sam begged. “Wait… please, don’t do this, don’t go in there. You don’t have to, you don’t have to do it--”
“It’s okay, Sam,” Ben told him. “Everything will be okay from now on.” Sam stilled when Ben lifted his father’s chin to kiss him gently on the mouth.
Sam collapsed to the floor as soon as Ben let him go.
“I remember where Alec is now,” Ben walked towards the swirling lights with his hands out stretched. “He’s still out there running. Running away from you.”
Bobby reached the pulpit and the open bible at the same moment Ben stepped into the center of the gate. He could see it now, every page in the holy book had been defaced with the scrawl of Sam’s handwriting, the rites for summoning spirits filling every empty margin. How long had Sam unknowingly been creating this church into a focal point of power he had no idea, calling and directing phantoms at his discretion and communicating with God knew what.
“I can feel Her,” Ben’s voice churned around them with the light and wind. “She’s so beautiful… I can see Her heart beating…”
With a shout, Bobby tipped a candelabra over the bible and let the hot wax flow over the pages and ignite. The parchment roared blue, the violent stutter of its interrupted magic knocking Bobby backwards off his feet. For a moment, he could see the triangular stream running between Sam, Ben and the gate as it brightened and then fizzled out completely.
And then all at once, everything fell totally and utterly quiet.
All Bobby could hear were his own groans of pain as his body started to figure out that it had just been tossed against a wall.
“Bobby?” Dean was at his side. “A-Are you okay?”
Bobby cursed as he felt his dislocated shoulder grind in the socket. But the rest of him seemed to be miraculously unbroken. With some aid and a small word of thanks to the man on the cross above, he struggled to his feet and looked around the smoking remains of the church.
“Check on your brother,” Bobby told him. “But be careful.”
Sam stirred when Dean touched his face, blinking up at him with dazed eyes.
“Ben’s gone,” Dean told him. “He just disappeared.”
“Where’s Alec?” Sam’s voice rose in panic. “Is he--”
“I got him out of that crypt,” Dean sat Sam up against the steps. “But h-he’s not okay, Sam.”
“Where is he?”
“Back over there,” Dean helped him up. “Behind the cistern.”
Sam staggered down the pulpit steps and pushed his way through the jumbled pews.
Kicking at the charred bible laying in chunks on the ground, Bobby limped over to where the gate had been burning only moments before. Dean knelt down to touch the scorch marks left on the wood, a strange fine dusting of ash left behind that was as smooth as silk.
They both turned at the strange calm in Sam’s voice.
“I couldn’t hear him before, but now I can hear everything…”
“Sam?” Bobby saw that instead of going to his son’s body, Sam had gone out the open doors and was standing in the rain.
“Alec’s lost out there,” Sam said. “He can‘t find his way back.”
Sam’s soft smile faltered when he turned towards his brother. His apology welled in his eyes, his throat working at the memory of everything Ben had said. When he finally looked like he was about to speak, Dean stepped away with a shake of his head.
“Not now, Sammy,” Dean said. “You go find him. You bring him back home.”
Sam took a deep breath and nodded.
Bobby stepped forward in alarm when Sam’s eyes rolled back, but Dean caught his brother as he folded to the ground. And Sam’s eyes stayed open, the pupils going cloudy like Alec’s had. The cast of his skin rapidly turning pale as the body was left behind with only minimal function of its systems to keep it from decay. Bobby sat down next to Dean and held Sam’s other hand.
Now came the real easy part.
All they had to do was wait.
go to part 9