Title: Payment Plan Epilogue I - Epilogue II - Epilogue III - Epilogue IV
Following: Payment Plan 1-3
Rating: PG - Gen - Wee! & Teen!Chesters - Sam POV
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Sammy liked how the placed smelled.
Usually smells went away after a while once you'd been sitting around in them long enough but he always seemed to be able to smell this house. This room. His bed. The sheets. The stitched quilt over them. Even the soft faded blue towel that had been assigned for his use.
Every house he thought smelled like the people inside of it. Or maybe the house made the people inside smell how they did. Or maybe it went back and forth. He supposed he only noticed because he wasn't in a whole lot of houses very often. Motels and well worn apartments always smelled the same. Musty. Windex and bleach. Stale air and the remnants of someone's cigarette smoke. This house smelled like the wood oil that was rubbed into the gleaming oak pews of the church that sat at the bottom of the hill. It was filled with the rich scent of aged vellum and cracked leather bindings. It was coffee always brewing and the clean strong smell of the blocks of soap that Pastor Jim kept on the bathroom sink.
Sam quickly found his place within the house's routine. It was strangely effortless to be absorbed into the quiet steady lifestyle their father's friend lead. It was maybe just that way because Pastor Jim hadn't made a lot of effort to tell him just exactly what to do. Sam found himself suddenly almost completely and utterly responsible for how he spent his days. Curious, he spent most of it following his host around. If Sam wasn't doing that then he was entrenched in the well stocked and endless supply of books that were stacked everywhere. Other than a life of what appeared to be of quiet study, the clergy man of course had his other duties to attend to.
Sam followed him along on those as well.
The Pastor held a service every night no matter how many people attended. Sam knew that he was never expected to come but he did anyway. He liked the calm way everyone looked and felt there. And he'd always had liked listening to just about anyone read anything out loud.
After the evening services they'd have dinner. Sometimes the Pastor would cook but Sam noticed that people seemed to leave food for him all of the time. There was always some kind faced woman arriving with a foil covered casserole or appearing to pick up a pot or glass dish that had been left last week. He liked the ritual of sitting around the table and saying a small prayer of thanks. The Pastor would still smell a little like used up warm wax and the linger of incense. The red wine soaked cork from the bottle that was opened while they ate in the evenings always stained the table cloth. There was the heavy aroma of it as it was poured in an amount enough for three small sips into Sam's cup.
He had liked that too. He liked how Pastor Jim didn't make a big deal out of it or anything. He just poured it just like he'd pour his own. But the novelty of being treated like some kind of equal still didn't make it taste any better.
At first, Sam had drank it only to prove he could without making a face. The burning taste on his tongue was nothing like when his father begrudgingly let him have a gulp or two from his beer bottles. It was dark and like drinking sweet smoke. He had never really believed that wine could be transformed into the blood of another man no matter what you did to it. But after almost a week of sitting at the table as Pastor Jim idly rolled his wine glass's stem between two fingers while he softly recited from one of his tomes, Sam felt himself start to think that maybe it could be true.
But despite all the peaceful evenings and quiet early mornings, Sam couldn't quite totally settle down into a state of complete ease. He knew why their father had brought them here.
He was reminded every time he looked at his brother's bruised face.
The slosh and splatter of rain drummed rhythmically against the side of the house.
Sam kicked his feet under his blankets and settled back into his bed, pushing aside the book that he had had in his lap. He had been sitting up studying but the storm outside had flickered the dim lamp at his bedside until it had finally gone out completely with one strong crack of lightening. Laying in the dark, he listened to the wind outside. The house wasn't that much different with the power out than with it on.
It wasn't a home that had loud TVs on all day or even a radio. Pastor Jim didn't keep a lot of lights on in the first place, leaving most of the house dark as soon as the sun started going down. The Pastor was probably so used to living alone that he didn't bother to light his way with a series of electric bulbs to go from one floor or one room to another. Sam heard footsteps travel up the bare wood creak of the stairs.
The clergy man appeared in the doorway, still in his black trousers, shirt and white collar. He was lit by three candles dripping in a brass holder. Sam had smiled when he saw him. Still dressed from his service and standing in the old house's wooden door frame like that, he looked like some of the pictures in the old fairy tale books. But instead of a story there was a real life saint appearing in the flame's warm light.
His voice was gentle as he asked if Sam and his brother were okay.
The clouds boomed and roiled unseen above them, the rumbling shuddering the frame of the house and the wind gusting to rattle the panes of glass in the windows. Dad would have never asked them if they were okay just because of some old thunder storm. Sam wasn't quite sure why Pastor Jim was asking now. It was just some lights off and a whole lot of noise.
Sam held up his heavy flashlight that he kept in his backpack. Dad always said to keep one handy and with batteries to spare. His was metal too so if you wanted to throw it at something or break a window you could use it for that as well. And, if you wanted to be really sneaky you just twisted the top and the light turned dark red making it really hard for other people to see you. Sam clicked it on in red mode and flashed it on the man in the doorway.
Pastor Jim smiled at the formidable device and wished him a good night.
Laying on his back he pointed the flashlight up at the ceiling and clicked it slowly on and off. The white bright circle of light looked a little bit like a cat's eye. When he flipped it to red it looked like some kind of sinister version of the same.
"Dean?" Sam asked.
There was no answer but Sam was pretty sure his brother was awake no matter what kind of weather or ruckus he could usually sleep right through.
"I'm bored." Sam halfheartedly complained.
His brother still said nothing.
His brother had been saying a whole lot of nothing these days.
After Dean's last birthday it seemed like he had somehow run out of half his word supply. Sam had even asked him once why he didn't like to talk anymore. Dean had said that maybe he just liked to talk to older people more now. Not little kids like him.
But Sam listened carefully when Dean spoke to older people and he didn't have a whole lot to say to them either. Even those other guys around the Pastor's church that were his brother's age. They would all talk about stupid stuff like sneaking booze and staying out late at night. But even then, Sam noted that Dean hadn't been pouring out any hidden speeches.
Sam couldn't really blame him. What was so cool about being out all night anyway? They stayed out late all the time. And drank wine now even. One kid had been excited because he might get his driving license. Sam thought it was kind of weird that Dean hadn't told them he'd been driving without one for almost two years already. He clicked the flashlight on and off a few more times, studying the pattern the imperfect plastic lense gave the light as he rotated it above him.
He looked over at the quiet shape of his brother under the pile of blankets across the room. The other bed was right under the window, and it lit up erratically and silently with white flashes of the storm.
But even if his brother thought Sam was boring just because he'd magically became a teenaged number, he had still talked to him in one way or another. Especially when they were alone or when they were trying to fall asleep. If anything Dean would at least talk to him to tell him to stop talking to him.
But not now.
Not since that night.
His thoughts turned to the marks that had covered the side of his brother's face. They weren't quite gone yet. The sight of them had made Sam's belly twist into knots at just how they had come to be there. He had watched Dean get dressed and undressed all week and saw all the other signs of violence that were all over him. The first time he saw them he had to pull his covers hard and tight over his head until his eyes had stopped burning.
"Were you scared?" Sam heard himself ask.
He had wanted to ask a lot of things for a long time but he wasn't sure he should. He still wasn't sure but now, after so many days, he couldn't help himself any longer.
"I would have been scared." Sam said to himself as he clicked his flashlight back to red again.
He had wanted to ask question after question ever since they had found Dean again in that weird place. Something always stopped him when he saw the look that had settled in his brother's eyes these days. But here, safe in the dark, it was easier now that he couldn't see his brother's face.
"Did you tell him you wanted to go home?" He asked softly.
He heard Dean shift on his squeaky mattress.
"I would have said that." Sam reasoned.
He watched the strange eye of his flash light slide down the wall and rise again like some bleak sunset and sunrise that he could command at whim.
"I- I woulda asked if I could have just gone home--"
"Go to sleep Sammy."
Sam clicked off the flashlight and left it dark.
He wasn't sure why he woke up but he did, quickly and suddenly, already sitting up before he was even aware he'd done so.
Sam looked uncertainly at the window, the rain greatly subsided to a gentle thrum, the dull flicker of lightening illuminating the gray sky in stuttering flashes. Rubbing at his eyes he wondered what had yanked him up out of his hard earned sleep he'd finally drifted off into. He flopped back onto his pillow with a yawn. It'd probably be morning soon. He didn't want to be too sleepy and maybe miss the Sunday Mass. It was the most special of the entire week and he'd really been looking forward to it. If he just shut his eyes he'd be back to sleep soon enough--
There was a strange sound. Opening his eyes again he looked back over towards the window.
Sam slipped out of bed, the chill of his bare feet on the cold wood floor making him grit his teeth. He was half way across the room when he heard it again.
It was his brother.
He crept closer.
Peering down at him cautiously, Sam saw that Dean was asleep. But his face was troubled, his brow creased, his breathing shallow and too fast. The covers were almost kicked off and his arms and legs were twitching as if he was trapped somewhere else. Somewhere in the dark of some dream that he couldn't surface out of even though he was trying.
The idea of that made Sam sick and afraid. He took hold of a shoulder and shook it hard.
It happened so fast that Sam wasn't even aware he reacted until well after the fact. The fist that swung out at him flew over his head as he ducked, his body moving almost of its own accord out of harm's way.
"Ouch." Sam said.
Chest heaving, Dean blinked and focused on his younger brother's startled face. Bewildered, he stared down at the small wrist he had firm in his grip. He immediately released it, causing Sam to stumble backwards.
"You were makin' weird noises." Sam explained in a small voice.
"I'm sorry Sammy, I--I'm just--" His brother ground the palms of his hands into his eyes before falling back onto the mattress. "Sorry I woke you."
Sam rubbed at his wrist and tried not to chew on his lower lip.
"Wha-What were you reading?" Dean asked.
"Before the power went out?"
"Oh um, The Missale Romanum."
"What's that? Like a story?"
Pastor Jim had all sorts of books about Latin Mass. Sam had gone through all of them looking for the ones written by hand and in as many languages as the colors of the stained glass that decorated the walls of the church.
"They're prayers." Sam thought they were kind of pretty even though he knew they probably weren't supposed to be. "W-wanna hear one?"
Dean sighed, rolling onto his side towards the window and leaving half of his small bed and blankets free. Tentatively, Sam slipped under the warm blanket and curled into a ball to gather back up his body heat. He started to recite the last thing he had read, his recall unwavering even though he had only read it twice and only a few hours ago.
"St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wiles and wickedness of the devil. Restrain him, O God, we humbly beseech Thee; and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into Hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the destruction of souls."
His brother said nothing after he finished.
"Wanna hear one about Consecration?" Sam offered.
As he started to repeat the words from his memory, he decided something.
Sam thought that for now, that maybe he'd just have to do enough talking for the both of them.