Banner by the lovely apieceofcake.
Take The Plan Spin It Sideways
Sometimes Dean thinks about how confusing Samuel can be. How he disassociates himself from the boy that Dean raised, from the angry teenager that broke his family apart to search for safe, from the heartbroken, blood-seeking man that came back. And yet at other times how he allows himself to be called Sammy, but never Sam, Dean will wear the teeth marks on his shoulder from uttering that hated name during sex for the rest of his life.
But then there are other times in the two short weeks that he’s been with his baby brother that everything seems so clear now that he’s finally starting to understand that there are two different personalities constantly at odds within the younger Winchester.
The first is Samuel, heartless half demon who opened a doorway to hell, set madness onto mankind, tore the world asunder just to suit his own desires and doesn’t care who had to die for him to get his way.
The second is Sammy or in Dean’s private thoughts, Sam. Sammy is Samuel’s human side, the part of him that he apparently protects unconsciously from those around him. Flashes of Sammy are quick and rare, or at least have been so far. Dean doesn’t think his younger brother is even aware of the occasions that his human side makes an appearance and he doesn’t want him to know about them because then there’s always the chance that Samuel will kill that little piece of himself off and it’s those brief moments that the eldest Winchester craves. It was seeing Sammy’s honest need for his big brother in Samuel’s eyes back in Conroe that convinced him to accept his offer. It’s Sammy’s soft touches, rare smiles and pleading eyes that compel him stay, understand, accept, the way their lives are now.
Unfortunately Dean has never really had a good defence against Sammy, so used to trying to make life bearable for the younger Winchester when they were children and giving him everything he could that even now when it’s Samuel’s words, Samuel’s plan, it’s Sammy’s pleading eyes that are making it so damn hard for him to argue with him.
He’s pretty sure he’s screwed but he’s got to try to fight this because as far as he’s concerned this is just not a good idea.
“Samuel,” he starts slowly, feeling out his brother’s temper. It’s all well and good that he’s staring Sammy in the eye but it’s Samuel’s unpredictable short fuse that he has to be cautious around. “I’m not really sure I’m seeing an upside to this.”
“Not sure you’re seeing an upside.” Samuel parrots back with a tilt of his head. The younger Winchester leans forward in his chair and spreads his hands wide across his desk. “How could you possibly not?”
This is only the second time Dean’s been in his brother’s office since they’ve been here and he’s been quick to realize the only times he would be seeing the inside of this room was when the younger Winchester wanted assured privacy for them, when it was something important to him that he only wanted his older brother privy to. Or perhaps any conversation between the two of them that went beyond normal day-to-day life would be carried on within the walls of his brother’s private sanctuary. It wasn’t like he had much experience with Samuel yet, so far simply contending himself with trying to recognize the signs he would need to survive in his brother’s new world order.
“Samuel you’re talking about a heavy binding. There’s no backing out of something like that ever.”
He watched his younger brother clasp his hands tightly in front of him, fingers almost instantaneously bleeding to white and felt the first inkling of a warning slither up the his spine. As Sammy begin to fade from his eyes, flecks of yellow starting to edge out the hazel in his gaze, he knew he was in trouble. Samuel didn’t take well to being told no, more used to having those around him immediately cede to his wishes but he had wanted Dean as his opposite, to make him think before he acted. Perhaps this wasn’t exactly what he had had in mind but it was all part and parcel of Dean Winchester, it was either that or his brother was going to have to kill him now because there was no way he would be council one minute than yes man the next as it suited the younger Winchester.
“What I’m talking about,” Samuel started slowly as if speaking to a small child, “is a way to protect you. The only way to proclaim you as my consort that won’t be subjugating you.”
“Huh. How about, oh I don’t know, just spreading the word that I’m your consort?”
Dean was leery about the whole situation, admittedly his brother wasn’t asking him to wear a collar or walk a step or two behind him and perhaps they would both be wearing marks of commitment but it wasn’t just that. And honestly it wasn’t the concept of a tattoo that bothered him the most, he understood what Samuel had explained to him, got that a ring or a necklace or a circlet of leather around his wrist could be forcibly taken from him. But it wasn’t just the tattoo, there was a ritual that the younger Winchester wanted to perform, a binding, the mixing of blood and ink and words that gave him pause.
It wasn’t that he didn’t understand what his brother was planning, after all both he and Samuel had been raised as hunters of the supernatural, it was that he understood too much. Bindings of the type that Samuel was intent on was a bastardized version a witch’s curse conceived back in the dark ages and a compulsion spell to force lesser demons to bend their wills to their stronger counterparts. On one hand it insured that both he and his younger brother would have a bond that couldn’t be broken even in death but there was also the chance that he was only using it as a way to control Dean, after all there was the whole demon part of the binding that just did not sit well with him.
“If I thought that just spreading the word would work we wouldn’t be having this discussion at all would we Dean.” His brother snarled back, his patience evidently at an end. “But if the idea of being bonded to me bothers you so much then you know what forget it. There are other ways of ensuring that everyone knows who you belong to.”
His stared into his brother’s now completely yellow eyes and repressed a shiver. Logically he knew he should still his treacherous tongue, clamp it tightly between his teeth, but knowing and doing were sometimes two very different things. “I don’t belong to you Samuel. I may have consented to be in a partnership with you, be your equal, be your consort but never did I submit myself to you.”
The cruel twist of his brother’s lips had him tensing, preparing to fight if need be even though he knew it would be useless. His baby brother could hold him in the chair with only his mind if he felt like it and they both knew he had no resistance against it. But the reaction was bone deep, years of his father’s training and surviving in a world that until just recently had been considered only possible in the minds of madmen couldn’t be stilled just because he knew this was a fight he couldn’t win.
“That’s the thing Dean,” Samuel hissed low. “If you won’t let me take steps to ensure your safety as your partner then I will do so as your owner.”
“Over my dead body you son of a bitch!” Dean snarled and threw himself from the chair, all thought of self preservation wiped from his mind, intent only on getting his hands around his deceiving brother’s neck.
His body never hit the desk, his hands fisted on empty air and he was back in the chair quicker than he had left it.
“I would stay seated if I were you.” His brother hissed softly around clenched teeth.
Dean struggled against the invisible bonds keeping him seated, “You lying bastard! You never wanted me as anything other than a toy for you sick games. Been getting off knowing that you had me convinced that I meant something more to you? Been having fun playing with me for the last two weeks? I swear to God Samuel I’ll…”
“You’ll do what Dean?” He growled back, cutting off his tirade. “Kill me? I don’t think so. Beat me into the ground? Not gonna happen big brother.”
He glared back mutely as he ground his teeth against the desire to utter more threats. His brother was right there was very little he could do but that didn’t mean that he was stuck. Eventually Samuel would let his guard down, confident in his control over the situation and then Dean would… His angry musings stuttered to a halt, he knew what he should do, what he had been planning to do up until a couple weeks before but now after spending time with Samuel, seeing the little brother hidden within he wasn’t sure if he could. But then he remembered that he wasn’t Samuel’s companion but his property and his indignation almost choked him, his brother had played him, using the one thing against him that had always worked, himself or as things now stood, Sammy his human side.
The sound of a drawer sliding open pulled his attention back to his surroundings and with a jolt he realized that in his anger he hadn’t even noticed that his brother had shifted his focus away from him. Instead he was now, apparently, searching through an out of sight drawer at the bottom of his desk.
“I don’t fault you for thinking that.” The hard edge was still in his brother’s voice even at the softer level. “But I’ve worked too hard to get you back to lose you to your own stupidity.”
He watched the younger Winchester slowly straighten up and then gracefully pull himself from his chair. His already laboured breathing grew harsh as his brother stopped before him.
“We’ll start with this.”
Dean glanced down at the motion to his brother’s hand and the thin strip of black leather clasped tightly within it.
“No!” He tried to pull back forgetting that he was pinned to the chair. He had seen similar collars on both Samuel’s human maid and cook and knew that they were in complete control of their minds but that they had no choice but to obey. The fear and anger that was a constant in their eyes had made that much clear.
“You leave me no choice.” His yellow eyes flashed with his ill concealed anger, “It won’t be permanent. Just until you realize that although the collar offers some protection that it isn’t your only option. Just until you accept that there is a much better alternative.”
He shook his head and swallowed against the metallic taste of fear at the back of his throat. His mind skipped through the last few minutes then days trying to find something that would get him out of this, some tell of his brother’s that would let him know that what he was thinking, what he was feeling was wrong. That he wasn’t just a toy, that he had been seeing the truth in his brother back in Conroe and what he was faced with now was simply the demon pushed too far.
He watched in morbid fascination as Samuel pulled the leather collar tightly between his two hands before bending towards him. He fought down the urge to scream and continue to try to fight; it hadn’t gotten him anywhere and instead took a steadying breath trying to clear his panicked mind. Fighting the demon wasn’t going to work but he didn’t think trying to reason with it was going to go any better but if he could just get through to his little brother’s rational side then maybe he’d have a chance.
“Sammy.” He entreated softly, “Sammy please don’t.”
Samuel stilled his movements from wrapping the collar around his neck and a moment later pulled back. He glanced from the strip of leather in his hands to Dean’s eyes and then back.
Without a word he dropped the collar like it was something dangerous before he turned away and moved back around his desk. He stood silent for a moment facing towards the window behind his desk, clenching and unclenching his fist slowly.
“What is it about the binding that bothers you the most?”
The words were spoken softly without any of the anger from earlier and he released the breath he didn’t know he had been holding. Samuel had given him a little breathing room by dropping the collar, given him a chance to maybe get out of this still in control of himself but he couldn’t fool himself into believing that he was safe from it yet. Not when it was laying at his feet, a threat of forced submission that he wouldn’t be able to get away from if his brother decided to pick it back up.
He chewed on his bottom lip for a moment deciding if he should just go with the truth or not. Glancing once more at the collar at the floor he decided to go with the truth, it couldn’t possibly hurt his chances any worse then fighting with the demon had.
“It’s a compulsion spell Samuel.” Dean admitted slowly, “You’re the one that explained that it was used to force lesser demons to surrender their loyalty to someone stronger than themselves. It seems to me that it goes against what you’ve said before, how can I possibly be your equal if it forces me to bend to you will? In fact it doesn’t sound any different than that fucking collar actually.”
Samuel’s shoulder’s slumped and he shook his head but he still didn’t turn around. “For someone who’s pretty damn smart you can be awfully stupid sometimes you know that Dean? How in the hell did you ever manage to solve any of the cases John sent you on alone while I was at Stanford when you only hear what you want to hear?”
Breathing was becoming easier as his brother’s posture started to relax, it was unnerving that he wouldn’t look at him but at least the tension was easing out of his body making him believe that even if he was still unnaturally pinned to the chair at least some of the anger was leeching out of the younger Winchester. But that didn’t mean that he was going to let him insult his abilities regardless if that meant risking the younger’s anger once again. “I listen just fine fuck you very much.”
He had been expecting his brother to snap so the laughter took him off guard.
“No really you don’t. At least not to me.”
Eventually, sometime in the future if he was still himself, he was going to have to ask if his brother ever took acting classes at Stanford because the kid knew exactly when to turn and face him for the most dramatic effect. It actually physically hurt worse seeing the sorrow in his brother’s hazel eyes at the belief that he didn’t warrant Dean’s full attention when he was speaking then it had when he thought the younger Winchester had deceived him.
The crux of it was that he might have had a point. He could clearly remember seeing his brother’s lips moving past saying that the spell compelled lesser demons to do as stronger ones wanted but he had gotten stuck on that point and had not heard a word Samuel had said about it after that small but important fact. Maybe he had already been trying to come up with a competent argument against what he had been planning and had let everything else slide past without taking notice, too busy already letting his own fears that Samuel had been playing him the whole time take precedence over attention to the details that were being laid out for him.
“Then please explain to me what I obviously missed.”
Dean ignored the fact that he had actually said please twice to his little brother instead of demanding an explanation or for him to stop trying to collar him. He would shelf that thought for later examination; for now it could reside beside all other thoughts he didn’t want to delve to deeply on. Like the fact that it wasn’t his fear of the demon that made him more inclined to ask nor because he couldn’t be a demanding bastard all the time but because he wanted to be an equal with his little brother and wanted both of them to feel that way. If this relationship was going to work between them, there had to be give and take on both sides. And the fact that he was thinking about them in the terms of a serious, romantic relationship was another thought for the shelf.
“It’s not just a compulsion spell. In it are elements key to linking you and I together so that we’ll both be able to get a read on the other if there is a problem.” His smile was self-depreciating, “Granted it’s more for your safety then mine but I wouldn’t expect you to be the only one carrying that kind of mark under your skin.”
He narrowed his eyes, “And the compulsion to do what you demand?”
Samuel placed a hand over his heart, “I swear to you that I’ll make sure to leave that part of it out.”
He chewed on the inside of a cheek quietly while studying his brother. He stared hard at him, trying to read any deceit in his eyes but could only read hope within their depths. Still the instilled belief never to trust a demon was hard to tamp down, even without the memories of the last few minutes screaming in his mind, it was still a dangerous risk that almost all his instincts were rebelling against. All but the instinct to do whatever he could within his power to make Sammy’s life easier, the same one that kept him from stopping his younger brother from leaving for Stanford, the same one that convinced him to stop fighting against his brother, the demon overlord, in the first place.
“I want to help write the ritual from scratch.” He allowed thinking that being bonded to his brother, being able to know when the younger Winchester was in trouble even when they weren’t in close proximity really wasn’t a bad thing. After all his first and most important job had been to protect Sammy and as long as his brother was being honest with him this would help.
He felt the pressure of his invisible bonds fade away at his omission and instantly kicked at the collar by his feet till he caught it with his toe and sent it skittering away from him.
Samuel smiled indulgently at him, “Of course.”
“And I want to know step by step exactly what’s going to happen before we do this.”
Samuel’s smile softened, Sammy lighting up his eyes. “Well since it’s for both of us did you really think I was going to do all the work myself?”
Watching the demon completely fade into the background as his brother’s smile grew Dean silently wondered why he had even bothered fighting him over this in the first place when he knew he was screwed from the get go.