Disclaimer: Don't own - just playing in somebody else's sandbox.
Summary: Dean may have agreed to hand over the two villagers and the hunter but he never agreed to the place. He's pretty sure Samuel is either nuts or his ego is out of control because the town square is a trap waiting to happen.
A/N: Eighth installment of the Darkness Undefined 'verse. The rest can be found
Exorcism excerpt from The New Rite of Exorcism. Translation back to English at the bottom of the fic.
Dean had already been feeling uncomfortable when he and Samuel had finally left the house his brother had declared his while they were in, what was left, of the little hamlet and gotten back in the Impala to head to the centre of town. His brother had made him dress in a pair of dress slacks, a silk shirt and fucking dress shoes, it didn’t matter that it his wardrobe was all black, he still felt like a pussy. Nor did it matter that Samuel was dressed the same, it simply meant, to Dean, that they both looked like a couple of pansies.
But the clothes and shoes had paled in comparison to the location that had been set up for Samuel to address the surviving townspeople.
He had no idea how old the hamlet was but they had an honest to God town centre, a park in the middle of main street, where once had been flowers, green grass and a gazebo. Now the flowerbeds were a shambles of torn up dying or dead plants and hard clumps of earth. Most of the grass had been burnt black and the gazebo had lost its roof and sides, only three support beams still clinging desperately to the base. And that was where Samuel had decided to hold court.
The townspeople where spread out along the burnt earth, men, women and children with bleak eyes and sagging shoulders, waiting silently to hear what was to become of them. And standing between them and the gazebo, a half circle of demons surrounding two women and one man, the hunter and her two townspeople conspirators.
Dean didn’t like it, didn’t like how vulnerable Sammy was, standing in the dilapidated gazebo, out in the open, visible to any threat hiding in one of the burnt out shells or still standing buildings. Didn’t like that only he had been allowed to stand beside his brother, how he was the only cover Sammy had afforded himself. Dean was good but he wasn’t that good and this was the biggest tactical error his brother had ever made.
He gritted his teeth against the twitching in his fingers to reach for the gun, tucked into the back of his pants, that Samuel had pressed into his hand before they left the Impala. It would do no good, not against an enemy that may only be his over active imagination and at worse it would make everyone looking up at them, civilians and demons alike, nervous.
His skin was prickling and he swallowed down the urge to do more than just scan the surroundings with his gaze.
A tickle of humour buzzed along their link and he glared out of the corner of his eye at his brother.
Samuel’s face was grave, his yellow gaze intent and he was speaking slowly to the crowd, explaining his plan for the survivors relocation. No one would know, could know, that he had felt Dean’s worry and found it amusing.
You’re nuts. He thought darkly but kept the words behind tightly clenched teeth. How his brother could find this amusing, escaped him. He either completely believed in his utter control of his surroundings or his ego was way too fucking big for his own good.
“Now to the murder of several townspeople and those that I sent here to protect you.”
The silence was almost absolute; none of the civilians seemed to be willing to contradict Samuel’s words. The three captives, however, didn’t seem to be afflicted by the same fear as the others, though, Dean supposed, they had nothing left to lose. Their lives were already forfeit, what else could Samuel do to them now?
He swallowed the thought down already knowing the answer, too much. So much that death would be a relief.
“Protects us?” The only man of the group yelled back. “Terrorize us. Torture us. But never, never protect us.”
Dean had been purposely avoiding looking directly at the captives, worried that he wouldn’t be able to let Samuel’s plan continue if he had to actually see them as more than indistinct outlines or worse, that the hunter among them was someone he knew, trained.
But a movement he wasn’t expecting forced his gaze towards them as one of the demons stepped towards the man, a hand raised as if to strike out but he stilled as Samuel raised a hand.
He admired the man’s strength, he was facing, at the very least, becoming a demon’s plaything and yet, not only was he managing to stare Samuel straight in the eye but he was doing it with his head held high. The problem was that the man was full of self-righteous anger and it rarely made room for things like self-preservation.
“But you agree that you and your wife conspired and committed the murders of several of your neighbours?”
And there it was, the trap the man hadn’t seen coming.
Dean managed not to roll his eyes, he had seen the trap coming before the man had even opened his mouth. Samuel didn’t have to do or say anything, the man had not only just damned himself but his wife as well in the eyes of the hamlet’s survivors. They wouldn’t want to believe his brother’s words, would have already convinced themselves that the demons in town had committed the murders but for one of their own to admit to guilt, it opened the way for Samuel to seem less evil and more serving justice.
The man’s mouth snapped shut and his wife’s eyes slid away to stare blankly at the ground. Only the woman that had started it all, the hunter, kept her belligerent stance and head held high.
He forced himself to focus on her, not just vaguely note that she had long auburn hair and was almost too tiny to seem a threat to anyone, but to actually look at her.
It had been easy to ignore the niggling in the back of his head when he had refused to acknowledge her but now that he actually saw her, he couldn’t deny anything anymore.
Well at least he hadn’t trained her.
She offered that her name was Claudia, no last name because what good were last names when they only either reminded you of loved ones lost or condemned someone because someone else with the same last name had allied him or herself with the demons, the day Jo had staggered into one of the temporary camps and he happened to be there, with her in tow.
Dean had taken notice of her simply as another able body to take up the fight and what she lacked in practical ability she had made up for in heart. He could remember telling Jo that Claudia was going to need to be trained in some basic self defence and brought up to speed on, at the very least, the most rudimentary of demon knowledge. Jo had asked him to do it but there had been confirmed sightings of Samuel in Texas at the time and he had to go.
Jo had been pissed with him but he had managed to catch up to Sammy, finally, and perhaps the outcome of that meeting had been different then what he had envisioned but he would never regret leaving Jo with the responsibility of taking Claudia under her wing.
Even now, staring at the young woman, staring back at him, he couldn’t feel bad. He had done what he had set out to do all those months before, or at least, he had accomplished the first half of his plan. A part of him wondered what had happened that she was no longer with Jo. Perhaps she had been more hot headed then he had first suspected, had grown tired of being held back and forced to learn and taken off with one of the raiding parties. Perhaps Jo had believed she was ready and let her go. Or maybe something had happened to her, maybe Jo was dead, maybe a lot of those he left behind were, it wasn’t like he asked Samuel about it, because, honestly, he didn’t want to know.
Something inside ached at the thought, she might have been nothing more than another hunter, a surrogate younger sister that couldn’t or wouldn’t see that she would never be anything more to him but above all else she had been a friend. And the thought of her or Ellen or Bobby or some of the others he had known from before dieing without his knowledge, without him being able to at least try to stop it, hurt.
He studied her as she glared back at him. Her blue jeans and long sleeved shirt were torn and dirty, speckles of blood, tell tale brown splotches obvious, her hair was a tangled mess and there were was a fresh bruise on her left cheek, another discolouring the skin of her right eye. It looked like Marcus had already started making her pay for the death of his mate, for her mistake of being the one to stay behind when the other freedom fighters left, or her stupidity of volunteering to stay behind, which ever it was.
She had been stupid, she had convinced desperate people to commit murder for a kamikaze chance at freedom and then she had been dumb enough to stay behind. She deserved punishment, if he had still been in control of the humans, the freedom fighters, trying to win back the world from his brother, he probably would have shot her himself for such deadly mistakes. But it would have been quick, merciful, compared to what she had probably already faced and would be facing soon.
He never should have allowed himself to become aware of them, of her, as anything other than indistinct shadows because now he was reconsidering his promise to stand by Samuel’s side as he handed them over to Marcus and the others.
A shifting, a sea of movement, drew him out of the narrow view he had taken to study those about to be sacrificed and realised two things in quick succession. First, the silent and downtrodden crowd was no longer a passive onlooker but moving quickly and frighteningly towards an angry mob. But the objects of their ire were not the demons they outflanked but the conspirators within their mists.
Dean felt a chill work down his spine, the situation could go so wrong, so fast. What would Samuel do if the rest of the survivors attacked his captives? What would Marcus do if his chance at revenge were ripped from his claws? Images of an all out battle between survivors and captives and demons flashed, quicksilver, through his mind, blood, carnage and death front and centre in his thoughts.
But even that paled in comparison to his second realisation, the spike of adrenaline coming from Samuel through their link. It should have been nothing out of the ordinary, considering the quickly deteriorating scene in front of them, but his brother wasn’t really paying attention to what was happening ahead of them.
Dean didn’t think anyone else would have noticed but from just watching his brother from his peripheral vision, he could see that his mind was on something else. That, even though the movements were slight, his brother was now closer to facing slightly away from the crowd, turned more towards the row of burnt out buildings to his right.
If it had been damn near anyone else, Dean would have considered the idea that Samuel was preparing his escape in case things with the crowd got out of hand but that wasn’t his brother. It hadn’t been when he was still fighting the good fight and it sure as hell wasn’t now that he was the anti-Christ. He knew enough to know that the idea of chaos should have been burning Samuel’s blood, making him crave a massive fight. Not turning away as if nothing disgusted him more than what was close to happening only mere feet ahead of them.
It had been a whisper that would have been lost in the noise of the crowd but the ear splitting sound of one of the few whole buildings exploding in a burst of noise and flame at the end of Main Street ensured that not even Dean could hear himself.
The panic was instantaneous, civilians screaming and breaking for the questionable cover of the structures, whole or otherwise, as the shell of another building closer went up.
Instinct took over and Dean’s body tried to twist away from the noise and the flying debris only to, instead, land heavily on the ground as Samuel took him down with him.
“Sammy.” He wheezed and tried to pull air into his burning lungs. He blinked the haze out of his eyes as he glanced down his body at his brother laying on top of him.
Samuel was laying, face up, his head tilted at an odd angle, eyes closed and his body a heavy weight atop him.
Something was wrong, terribly, terribly, wrong.
His neck is broken. Screamed through his mind and fear froze him to the spot.
“No.” He whispered, his hands fluttering near his brother’s shoulders but never making contact.
It wasn’t possible, there was no explanation even as to why Samuel had took him to the ground, never mind somehow managed to snap his own neck in the process.
He pushed down the need to move quickly, to get out from underneath him and check Samuel over. Instead, he carefully shifted and wiggled while keeping a firm grip on his brother, until he had manoeuvred himself out from beneath him and laid him on the floor.
He shakily touched his cheek, “Sammy. Come on man.” He muttered, voice drowned out by the chaos surrounding them but going unnoticed. Nothing else mattered, not the civilians, not the demons, not the murderers or the hunter. All that mattered was Samuel, looking pale and dead.
Not dead. Not dead. Not dead. He gritted his teeth and dragged his fingertips down Samuel’s cool cheek and neck until he found the fluttering pulse.
“Thank Christ.” He breathed, ignoring the fact that he was thanking a God he didn’t believe in for saving his half demon, catalyst for Armageddon, brother and let his head drop to Samuel’s shoulder.
Something warm, sticky and smelling like copper met his forehead instead of the flesh warmed silk he had expected.
He jerked back and tore open Samuel’s shirt.
The hole torn in Samuel’s chest was small, almost lost amongst the dark blood smeared around it but it would be obvious to someone who had spent months mapping every line of his body, obvious to Dean.
“Jesus Chris.” He moaned low and slammed his hand down over the wound.
Fine tremors wormed through his body, without the benefit of an x-ray machine, at the very least, he couldn’t know with absolute clarity but the bullet wound seemed to be over where his brother’s heart should be. His eyes darted up to Samuel’s pale and slack face then down to the weak pulse he could just make out fluttering beneath the thin skin at the side of his neck and then back to his hand pressed against his chest. Maybe because of his demon heritage, Samuel wouldn’t die from being shot in the heart, after all, he was still breathing but he wasn’t conscious either and that didn’t bode well.
At least not for Dean.
Someone shot Sammy.
The thought slammed through him and tore him out of the stupor he had fallen into. Someone had set bombs to destroy what was left of the little village then set them off while Samuel was in town and in the midst of his little town meeting. They had waited until he could use the cover of the crowd and the mass fear from the explosions to hide taking a shot at his brother.
He looked up and stared into the hysteria of screaming bodies and snarling demons only feet from them. The chaos was almost complete, demons chasing after the scattering crowd and he would have felt the need to stop them from hurting the civilians only the quiet in the centre of the storm drew his attention.
Claudia stood still as a stone, her features twisted in an angry, triumphant smile and in a moment of clarity Dean understood.
Everything, from even before the moment she had slipped into the hamlet, had been one big set up. One big plan to attract his brother to this place, to this time, to do what he had failed to do, kill Samuel. The deaths, the slaughtering of the farm animals, the poising of the town water supply and the ground, the destruction of homes and businesses. It had all been for the greater good.
He watched a burly male demon grab a fleeing woman and snap her neck with a snarl before his gaze skittered away, only to catch on another demon, a female this time, throw a helpless man towards a turned over car with only the flick of her wrist. His eyes darted from left to right and back again, only to snag on civilian after civilian taking the brunt of a demon’s anger and he clenched his teeth.
He wasn’t stupid enough to believe that many of the civilians were going to survive now that the demon’s leader was out of the picture.
How was this supposed to be for the greater good? How were children being trampled, women and men being thrown around like rag dolls or being beaten for the greater good?
So whoever, it was that had planned this, had thought that taking out Samuel was worth the cost of innocent human lives. But it wasn’t. It never had been. Even when Dean had been planning on killing his own brother, he had planned it to be as close to a one on one as possible. He had never planned on using civilians as a shield or a distraction.
Dean’s gaze snapped back to Claudia, still standing and grinning up at him, completely unaware that a demon, riding the body of a man who had been a Hell’s Angel if his tattoos where anything to go by, was purposely moving towards her. “You lose traitor!” She screamed and started to laugh.
“Fuck you!” He snarled and grabbed the handgun, tucked into the back of his dress pants.
John Winchester had trained his son well. One minute she had been laughing like a maniac, a demon closing in on her from behind and the next a bullet hole had appeared in the centre of her forehead and the demon was screaming in rage.
Dean watched her body drop to the ground, knowing that he had shot her but not consciously remembering taking aim. He blinked, let his arm drop to his side and wondered when the guilt would start.
His gaze flickered up and he watched absently as the biker demon stomped towards him. I shot her. There should be guilt. Why isn’t there guilt?
Samuel’s shallow breaths answered the question for him.
He looked back down at his brother and felt his rage start to boil again, the temporary relief from taking down someone who had something to do with him being shot burning away. He wanted the shooter, he wanted to have the ability to jump up and start hunting for that person, but Sammy needed him.
“She was mine!”
Biker boots appeared at the top of his vision and he let them draw his attention, his gaze slowly working it’s way up to the black eyes and features twisted in rage.
“Marcus.” He growled, making the connection between the demon who had demanded the blood debt and the one before him claiming that he had the right to Claudia. “Search the town. There is at least one more hunter somewhere nearby.”
The demon, Marcus, snorted disdainfully, “I don’t care who Samuel says you are. I don’t take orders from meat suits.”
“Look you stupid fuck!” He snarled back, “Samuel’s been shot and we both know it wasn’t Claudia. Which means that there is at least one more hunter in this fucking hole. Find him!”
Marcus narrowed his eyes, his inky gaze cold and calculating and Dean could practically see him weighing his options as he looked between him and Samuel. Could practically hear him silently wondering just how badly Samuel was hurt, if he should risk trying to finish him off himself and take leadership.
Dean sneered and raised the gun, “Don’t even think about it.”
He laughed coldly, “That won’t hurt me.”
“Sanctus Senior, omnipotens Abbas, eternus Deus quod Abbas nostri Senior Jesus Sarcalogos, quisnam quondam quod pro totus dedo ut cado quod apostolus tyrannus ut flamma of abyssus, quisnam sent vestri tantum - genitus Filius in orbis terrarum contero ut murmur Leo; volito ut nostrum accerso succurro quod prehendo ex ruination quod ex clutches of noonday diabolus is terrigenus no in vestri statua quod visio.”
Marcus stumbled back, missing the last of the three wooden steps and landing on his ass on the burnt ground beneath the gazebo. “Well, well. It appears your God hasn’t forsaken you yet meat suit. But it won’t stop me from ripping your tongue out before you finish.”
He shrugged, ignoring his shock that the beginning lines of the exorcism had actually worked. If he had given himself time to think about it, he never would have tried it, sure that he already just as damned as his brother. However he wasn’t about to look to closely at the gift horse, instead pushing down the urge to continue, not because it was the right thing to do but because Marcus had and probably still was, considering hurting Samuel. He needed the demon to hunt down the hunter who had shot his brother for him while he patched him up as best as he could. “Did it ever occur to you that this was a set-up? Whatever other hunters are in this town are part and parcel to what happened here. You want your fucking blood debt then hunt them down!”
The demon pulled himself to his feet but still had to glare up at him. “I’m not doing this because you ordered me to, meat suit. I’m doing this to avenge my mate.”
Dean resisted the urge to snort, he didn’t care what reasons the demon used to convince it’s self to go after the hunters instead of trying to kill it’s leader and take his place, so long as he did it. “The longer you stand here spewing shit the better the chances that they’ll get away.”
Marcus sneered, “The time will come when you won’t have Samuel to protect you.”
He carefully laid the gun on the ground beside his unconscious brother and spread his free arm wide. “Any day, any time, except now. Find the hunters and bring them to me.”
“To you?” He sputtered, “Why would I do that?”
“Because Samuel will want to speak with them.” He snapped back, equal parts annoyed at still being questioned and worried that his brother would be conscious because he would want first crack at his would be assassin.
He wanted time alone with the shooter, preferably before Samuel got to him and hopefully without him being too damage after Marcus dragged him back. No one shot Sammy, no one.
The demon barred its teeth and growled low. “My blood debt…”
“Will be fulfilled, I’m sure.” He snarled back, “Now go!”
Dean watched Marcus narrow his eyes and appear to be searching his face for any deception before suddenly turning away. “Later meat suit.” He called over his shoulder as he started to jog away.
“I’ll meat suit you.” He hissed, “You useless piece of shit.”
Marcus and the other demons hadn’t simply been present in the hamlet for his blood debt, they where supposed to be there to stop any ambush. They were supposed to be the muscle to protect Samuel from attack.
They had failed.
The only thing Dean wasn’t sure of was if it had been on purpose or sheer stupidity on the demons’ part.
He glanced down at his brother, the leader of Legion, the bringer of Armageddon, and shook his head.
If Marcus was any example of the higher-level demons that his brother was in control of, it was a wonder to him that Sammy had survived for three years without him. He had expected that there was dissidence in the ranks, even believed that there had been more than one attempt on his brother’s life from the few things he had let slip since Dean had joined him. But for one of them to openly consider attacking him in front of Dean showed a contempt that bordered on suicidal as far as he was concerned. Maybe he didn’t have a demon father and maybe he was only human but he had been a hunter and he had survived being hunted after the world went to hell and managed to take out a few of legion’s ranks at the same time. If Marcus or any of the demons thought he would be an easy obstacle to over come, they had another thing coming.
“No one,” he muttered softly, his words lost in the chaos still surrounding them. “No one gets to hurt you. You are my blood debt little brother.”
Cold slid through his veins and he shivered with the force of it flooding his system. Something inside him screamed wrong! and no! and stop! but it was easily ignored when weighed up against the ingrained need to protect his brother.
Carefully he lifted his hand from Samuel’s chest, cringing as his skin stuck to the tacky blood drying slowly.
Dean wasn’t a doctor but he had seen enough bullet holes to know that something supernatural was going on, something that sent a chill down his spine. It had stopped bleeding and didn’t really look like a bullet hole any longer. It reminded him more of a deep wound from a knife but nothing life threatening.
His knees weak with relief, he let himself drop down onto his butt. “Huh. Looks like having your dad’s genes is finally paying off.” He glanced up at his closed eyes. “So up and at ‘em Sammy. People to terrorize, a legion of demons to lead and all that.”
He let his gaze shift across the centre and watched as Marcus tore a broken piece of drywall away from one of the burned out buildings before bulling his way inside. “And I have a hunter to deal with.”
Sanctus Senior, omnipotens Abbas, eternus Deus quod Abbas nostri Senior Jesus Sarcalogos, quisnam quondam quod pro totus dedo ut cado quod apostolus tyrannus ut flamma of abyssus, quisnam sent vestri tantum - genitus Filius in orbis terrarum contero ut murmur Leo; volito ut nostrum accerso succurro quod prehendo ex ruination quod ex clutches of noonday diabolus is terrigenus no in vestri statua quod visio.
Holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who once and for all consigned that fallen and apostate tyrant to the flames of hell, who sent your only-begotten Son into the world to crush that roaring lion; hasten to our call for help and snatch from ruination and from the clutches of the noonday devil this human being made in your image and likeness.