( & continued in sequel Indoctrination)
Author: Mink & Jink
Rating: R - hurt!Dean - abducted!Dean - Gen
Spoilers: General to all aired ep in USA
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Whatever they had given him, it was doing a hell of a job.
The shiver of cold sweat, limbs heavy and useless, focus impossible. The rough cloth of the hood itched, stifled by the heat of his breath, vertigo made worse by the darkness. The world was spinning madly and he wasn't even moving.
They'd undone the shackles while he trembled on the tiles, too weak to lift his head. He barely felt his arms wrenched up and tied tight behind his back, his feet held together by what sounded and felt like prison grade restraints. He was hoisted over a shoulder and Dean fought to keep down the burning bile threatening the back of his throat.
The sudden rush of night air on the dampness of his exposed wrists and neck was like a drink of cool water. They were in an awkward space, an alley maybe, the man carrying him forced to move with care. He felt the heel of his boot scrape a wall, bang against what sounded like a hollow garbage bin. Hushed, sharp words were exchanged. Suddenly the motion stopped, the shoulder beneath him heaving, and he felt himself being lowered.
"In ya go."
He was dumped ungracefully, head smacking against a metal edge. The hood was tightened and the lid slammed shut. He could hear their voices above him outside, muffled and choppy.
"Enough to quiet a horse. He'll be out. No trouble."
Sounds startled him, distant and up close merging in the darkness like delirium. A dog's bark across the street, the man in the backseat cracking a beer, the thrum of the engine a constant song in his head. Dean tried to count the miles, gauging the speed of the vehicle, felt the acceleration shift, estimated each tick on the dial. Gradually the terrain changed, the motion beneath him shifting from paved cement to gravel and finally to the rollicking gait of uneven dirt. Dad had always said being a passive captive was the same as being a dead one. Although, he knew this trip was not intended to end him. Not immediately at any rate. For once, it was Sammy they wanted dead.
The car stopped and the trunk was opened, the hood and restraints rechecked before they lifted him out and settled him onto unsteady feet. He did not need eyes to know where he had been taken. Beneath his boots came the smell of damp earth, leaves and the unmistakable rot of old hay.
Dean had spent enough time in enough forgotten joints like this in his day to be able to construct the surroundings in his head. An old barn, unused and abandoned. No lowing of cattle or smell of fresh dung. Just decay and rot.
It was far out enough from town to give them their absolute privacy.
Hands touched him, again lifting and carrying, to his muted indignant ire. Dean grunted in frustration as he was handled, bound fists working behind his back. He was taken only a few steps before he heard the groan of an old door, its wood likely soft and falling away on its rusted hinges. The smell of damp hay was overpowering inside the space, dull light from somewhere making him turn his head.
"Get him up there." A voice said, accented by the safety click of a loaded rifle.
He felt rope being worked into his jeans, securing him to the man's body.
"You better hold still." The owner of the massive shoulder warned him. "Most people I do this with are either unconscious or dead. You don't want to be either of those now, do ya?"
If Dean could have responded unkindly, he would have.
They were ascending steadily. Even with his sight obscured, he felt the wave of dizziness as he was hauled quickly up what felt like a ladder. It was quite a feat for the man bearing him, his back heaving from exertion. Counting the shift of each rung to 36, he estimated wherever he would find himself next, would be an alcove within a hiding place.
And however high it was, it would not be a gentle place to fall from.
The drop down into the old hay was startling, his sight taken and leaving no bearing on just how far away the floor was before he was released.
He didn’t move when the hood was drawn off and tossed aside. The fresh air sweet on his face, his hair damp on his forehead.
This man looked almost identical to his fellow hunters. These three men. They all looked the same. That same innocuous middle age, with worn denims and rolled up flannel sleeves. The threadbare baseball caps and the sleeveless insulated jackets. The type of men you wouldn’t look twice at while you were filling your car at a highway rest stop.
The absence of the hood went swiftly from refreshing to cold, as he shivered and looked around him. He was sprawled in a heap of molding hay in a large empty space, the wooden roof of what he had guessed correctly was a barn sloped from its peak and came down low against the wall where he had been put. The loft was dark but the barn floor below was lit by several gas lanterns. Their flames flickered and wavered up the broad barn walls and glowed up between the uneven wooden planks.
The man seated next to him was the one that spoke the least. He was slightly younger than his counterparts and was the only one without a salt and peppered beard complete with moustache.
Dean watched him take out a knife and start whittling away at a piece of pine he had retrieved out of his back pocket. He also had a duffel where Dean could see bottled water and that damn tube.
The man saw him looking.
Dean hastily shook his head. His throat was raw and burning, scraped and bruised by unyielding plastic.
The tape was peeled back, the rag removed.
Dean worked his jaw and wondered just exactly what he could do to avoid this procedure that he hadn’t already tried yet.
"You’ll need it.” He said as he gave the coiled tubing a stretch.
“It’s dosed.” Dean mumbled needlessly.
“Just need to keep you calm, that’s all.”
Dean shifted his attention to the face of the man leaning over him. Sam and he had used his and the others' personal data to let them move more easily in the world. But if memory served, besides the fact that all of these hunters were supposed to be dead, they appeared to be missing a man. Dark coven or not, something had caught up with these guys.
“I thought there were four of you?” Dean asked, wondering too late if there would be any repercussions for posing the question.
“After a few weeks you won’t fight the tube anymore.” He pulled Dean down flat on his back by hooking a hand under his knee and yanking him down.
“After a few months, you’ll drink and eat when we tell you.”
“Sure.” Dean muttered.
Shifting his trapped hands underneath his back, he swallowed nervously at the lack of sternness or threat in the guy’s voice. In fact, the hunter laughed a little as he shook the bottle a few times to mix whatever he’d put in it.
“It’ll take a while, you bet. But by next year, you’ll be right as rain.” He grinned as he made sure the water bottle was attached tightly to the end of the tube. “And then we’ll be four again.”
Despite his past failures of avoiding the process, Dean struggled anyway when thumbs pushed into the sides of his face to painfully unlock his jaw.
“You’re a good find Dean.” He told him as he held his neck down and snaked the tube in at the same time.
Whipping his head from side to side, Dean wheezed around the plastic. The sickening feel of the cold liquid traveling down his throat and hitting his stomach made him gag and twist under the man’s strong hold. He couldn’t breathe, his eyes blinking rapidly and watering as the guy took his time emptying the plastic container.
“As soon as we’re done with your brother,” he said as he tipped the bottle slowly up so it would go down gradually. “We can start training you.”
Dean stared at the bottle only half way depleted, his chest hitching for oxygen. Convulsively, he groaned and brought his boots down hard onto the wooden planks in desperate protest, his vision swimming with the lack of air. His fists worked frantically in their bonds, his back arching weakly in distress before suddenly, the tube was quickly and nauseatingly withdrawn.
Colors swam in his line of vision as he gasped for air, a deep voice below sounding very far away.
"Almost!" The shouted reply came.
"Hurry up! The other one will be here any minute."
Dean was still choking, coughing and spluttering into the foul hay.
"Atta boy!" The man used his own shirt to mop the dampness down Dean's chin and neck. "Just breathe, now. That's it. It'll be done soon."
"Son...son of a..." Dean's eyelids fluttered, chest heaving.
"Knew you'd say that." The man smirked before he forced the rag back in.
Dean closed his suddenly heavy eyes and tried very hard to forget where he was.
And before he knew it, he was asleep.
He awoke shivering uncontrollably.
They had never given him back a shirt no matter how low the thermometer happened to dip out there but when he opened his eyes, he was grateful they'd left him his jeans and boots, laces missing or no. He struggled to sit, muscles twitching involuntarily from the cold. To his dismay, the hood had been replaced, the kerosene scent of it making his stomach lurch.
"Look alive." The man next to him said.
There were new noises below.
Groggily, Dean sorted out the cluster of voices, heart racing when he heard the sound of his brother.
Fighting the protest of his abused limbs, he sent his booted foot slamming hard against the floor, a growl from underneath the gag was enough that a hand clamped over his mouth over the hood. He kicked again, shifting with all his might to knock his shoulder and handler into the wall behind them. Stifled yells and groans of pain came when the weight of the man dropped down on top of him. Dean snarled, breathing desperately behind the gag. He had to make Sammy hear him.
Words below became more distinct with adrenaline, meeting his ears in muffled snatches. One question, however, was loud and clear.
"Where’s my brother?"
He could see Sam in his mind. Hand hovering at his jeans where he normally kept his gun, muscles tensed and cautious, unwilling to incite violence.
"Give him back. Now." Spoken calmly it was not a request.
"Didn’t come packin' now did ya son?"
Dean knew without seeing that they were searching him, their hands on his brother made his stomach clench a little. The click of Sam's gun hitting the table met his ears. Satisfied that he had no more on his person, the man running the show changed his tone.
"Have a seat."
There was the scrape of a chair against the floor and Sam's question came again, slightly less composed.
"Where IS he?"
Dean struggled briefly, waiting in agony to hear the metallic mechanism of one of those rifles load and discharge and the sound of Sammy’s body hitting the floor. His struggles renewed but were quickly stopped. His handler on top of him simply pressed a broad palm firmly down over the hood, tape and his mouth, the itchy hay under his back turning sharp and needle like as he writhed in it.
"Shhhhhh." He suggested.
There was no way in hell Sam was going to be able to get him out of here. Even if Dean had full use of his arms and legs, they were outgunned by some men that weren't afraid to use them. Dean waited, clenching his fists hard as he heard the exchange below.
"We got a proposal for you."
"I want to see my brother now."
He heard the man spit hard onto the ground before he yelled up.
"Up." The man next to him ordered, hauling him up painfully by the elbow. Dean sagged slightly, his joints protesting at the sudden, swift movement. The hood was pulled off, the vast space so quickly revealed, and the height suddenly realized, made him sway in a burst of dizziness.
Staggering to right himself at the edge of the rail less loft, he saw Sam down on the barn's first floor. Dean would have waved if he could.
The situation seemed to deserve some kind of greeting.
He watched Sam take a few seconds to look up that high and realize that was where the man had gestured. He stared up at Dean for a moment, his mouth appropriately wide open before he blinked a few times.
“D-Dean?” Sam stammered, far below but close enough to see the bruises all over his face and torso. "Dean!" Sam shouted.
Dean, unable to speak, couldn’t even do a hand signal because they had his wrists cinched tight behind his back. All he could was look back down at him. So he did the only think he could do.
Sam’s look of concern shifted to full on confusion.
Dean couldn’t blame him. They had never worked out blinking in morse code or any of that kind of shit. But he wanted him to know he was fine. Better than fine, he was, he…was…
A wave of white soaked his vision and he felt himself stumble— The man behind him caught the back of his jeans as his knee gave out on him, almost sending him right over the loft edge and onto the hard wood floor far below.
Dean shook his head hard and tried to refocus on Sam who appeared to be doing an internal indexing of known drugs that they might have been using and what effects they might have.
Unwillingly, Sam took a deep breath and turned his attention back to his host.
“What exactly do you want?” He asked in a very controlled voice.
“You took our phantom status away and now we’re just ordinary folks.” The man seated himself at the table. “Tough luck for us that you made those folks on the top 50 of the FBI's shoot-on-sight roster.”
Sam pulled out a chair and sat down numbly.
"Just sending you back where you came from." He whispered.
"Think this is funny?" The man roared.
Dean jerked as he watched Sam's face come into contact with a fist. Don't fuck this up, Sammy. Please....
“You get me boy?”
“You want new identities?” Sam was panting slightly in pain, a hand pressed to his bleeding lip.
“Not just a new name kid, we want the full package.”
Sam nervously swallowed. “Full? B-But why?”
“Get out from under the law. Have some fresh new numbers. Maybe get to vote.”
Sam nodded as he ran a hand back through his hair. “You want a safehouse, unrelated individual living tax payers, photos alterations, back up social security numbers, mother’s maiden names, legit birthdates and cities of origin, SAT scores, heh… the works?”
“That would be about right.”
Sam laughed a little, a breathless laugh. “I can’t do it.”
“I thought you might say that.” He gestured behind him with a hand.
Dean felt himself pushed up to the edge of the ledge they were standing on, the grip on his cinched wrists was slick with sweat. Dean’s boots were set half way over the precipice and the hand behind him was ready to give that small tap on the shoulder that would send him reeling into space.
Sam’s chair hit the floor as he stood up.
“Wait! No! No no no, wait!”
The seated man with the rifle considered him.
“Just wait okay? Just wait!” Sam had his arms up and hands out as if he had the power to stop the guy with overt gestures alone.
Dean felt an eye brow raise. But what the fuck did he know, maybe the kid had another one of those unsuspected punches somewhere in there. But Dean had never considered counting on it. Instead he looked down the thirty odd feet of air between him and the floor and wondered what it would feel like hitting it face first.
Probably wouldn’t kill him if he fell right.
Probably just hurt him real real bad.
Dean sighed. They’d revealed what they wanted so there wasn’t a bullet with Sammy’s name on it just quite yet. But this was a fine line. His brother had to play this thing smart or the grim situation could get a whole lot grimmer.
“Just listen,” Sam had resumed his business voice but in a much softer tone. “I can’t do that kind of hack on my terminal, it’s a laptop man, I can hack into most networks, military, even local government… but adding, changing, you have to be practically sitting between their servers to pull that off!”
Dean had zoned out after the word terminal but he got the gist. Sammy had to do some breaking entering elsewhere to accomplish this kind of job. And he could do it too. And these men knew he could. He felt a brief flash of perverse pride that these lunatics went to these lengths just to get his brother to do a hack job for them. But why not save time by hacking into the hacker that screwed you in the first place?
“I’ll need time...” Sam said almost to himself. “I’ll need to drive to Cheyenne, use the city hall terminals, it will take me—“
Drive? Dean perked, wishing his mouth wasn’t packed full with cloth and tape so he could ask where Sam had found the car.
“Pl-please, I’ll need more time—“
“24 hours.” Another fat round cigar was lit. “You liked playing with our names so damn much, I think you’ll have a blast this time.”
Dean could hear Sam's slow release of breath even from where he stood.
“Alright." Sam's voice wavered slightly. "Alright. I'll get you what you want. Exactly what you want, ok? Just d-don't hurt him."
"We won't. Right, boys?"
"We'll treat 'em like our own brother." The man in the loft called down.
Sam’s jaw clenched at the words.
"Listen. I do everything you want as you want, I get him back in one piece."
The man sat forward with the rifle across his lap.
"You got 23 hours and 45 minutes. Best get moving."
Sam was shown the door at the point of a rifle. His eyes searched frantically for Dean, who was being pulled back into the shadows above.
"I'll be back." Was all he said.
Dean knew what Sam was thinking, there'd be a bullet in his older brother’s skull and a body lost in some bog where he'd never find it. But Dean knew where this story was going. If Sam let him slip, he would vanish along with them, a new candidate for their training program. A new hunter in their gang.
Shoved back into the hay again, Dean smiled ruefully to himself.
An indoctrination into their little gang was never going to happen. They'd end up putting a bullet into his head sooner rather than later when they figured out they had snared something that wasn't willing to be taught.
"I'll be back Dean!" Sam yelled loudly in promise before they closed the doors on him.
His hidden smile faded when he thought of the ease the guy had said he'd eventually stop fighting. Dean rolled onto his side in an effort to conserve some of his body heat. His handler was digging in the duffel again, this time pulling out a bottle that looked like it was filled with something pureed and sickly beige.
“You must be hungry.” He said idly as he began to connect it to a different and much larger tube.
Dean felt his heart start to beat faster as he watched the barely viscous fluid begin to fill the hose. He sighed and pulled his knees up closer to his chest.
How much worse could this possibly get?