Disclaimer: Not mine
Dean watched Sam walk into the dinner with a grin on his face. He was glad that despite everything not a lot had really changed between them. They still teased each other, played the occasional juvenile prank and all that but they also got rooms with one bed and for the first time in years they could actually sleep the whole night through. Yeah, life was pretty good. He grumbled good naturally as the radio began to play up, bending down to try and fix it. And then he screamed, clutching at his chest as the most intense pain he’d ever felt hit him, worse than the heart attack he’d suffered the year before. When he could finally sit up his eyes went wide at the sight of the empty diner. He scrambled out of the car, running for the small building. He slammed through the door and froze at the sight of a man face down on a table in a pool of blood.
“Sam!” he screamed but he already knew the truth, Sam was gone. He stared around the room and then his heart plummeted, he walked over to the back door and ran his fingers across it, sulphur.
Sam groaned and slowly rolled to his feet. He felt sluggish and disorientated, like a part of him was missing. Looking around he found he was in what looked like an old, abandoned town with Dean nowhere in sight. Pulling his phone out he growled in disgust when there was no reception, absently wishing teleportation was a Fey power. Hearing someone coming he tensed for a fight put then relaxed as a familiar figure appeared.
“Andy?” he called and Andy stared at him in relief.
“Sam! What are you doing here?”
“I don’t know.” Sam admitted though he had a sinking feeling.
“What am I doing here?!” Andy asked again, getting hysterical.
“I don’t know.” Sam answered again, getting a bit annoyed at Andy but pushing it aside.
“Where are we?!”
“Andy, look, calm down.” He tried again.
“I can’t calm down! I just woke up in freaking Frontierland!”
“What’s the last thing you remember?” Sam tried a different track.
“Honestly? My fourth bong load. It was weird. All of a sudden, there was this really intense smell. Like, uh…”
“Like sulphur?” Sam asked, making Andy look at him in surprise.
“How did you know that?”
“Dean.” Sam whispered.
“Your brother –- is he here?” Andy asked eagerly.
“I don’t know where he is. I don’t know if he’s…” Sam was cut off as they heard a woman screaming in the distance. They headed that way, finding another abandoned building with a lock on the door.
“Hello? “ Sam called and the banging stopped.
“Help me! Help me, please!” She called.
“Okay, I’m here. We’re gonna get you out, all right? Just hold on a second.” Sam told her, looking around for something to break the lock with.
“Please!” She called again and Sam grabbed a rock, smashing the padlock with it.
“All right, one second.” He called out.
“Please!” She cried fearfully and Sam finally got the door open and the woman fell out into his arms, sobbing.
“Are you okay? What’s your name?” Sam asked and she stepped back from him.
“Ava. Where are we? What’s going on?”
“Ava it’s going to be okay. I’m Sam and this is Andy.”
Bobby watched Dean pace and occasionally rub at his chest. He’d broken every speed law there was trying to get to Dean after the kids panicked call. They both knew what it meant, the demon had Sam. They could only hope it still thought he was one of its kids but that was unlikely. Bobby was really wishing Cearnach had left them at least a phone number; they could really use his help. The boys bond was still new, too new for them to be separated like this without consequences.
Sam watched the others talk nervously amongst themselves, knowing he was nothing like them so why had he been taken? Surely the demon knew he was no longer one of its chosen kids.
“Hello Sammy.” He spun around to see familiar yellow eyes and glanced back at the others who didn’t seem to notice what was going on.
“Don’t worry, they can’t see or hear us. Wanted to get a good luck at the new and improved Sam Winchester. Gotta say kid, Fey attributes really suit you.”
“Why am I here? I’m not one of your anymore.” Sam spat out and the demon nodded.
“True, sad but true. I was really counting on you kid, then you had to go and save dear old Dean. You’ve really messed up my plans Sammy, but I’ve always been good at improvising. Pity your Mom and pretty little Jessica all died for nothing, isn’t it?” He taunted and Sam glared, his glamour dropping as his anger grew. The demon looked him over again and whistled.
“You really are a fine looking thing, even for one of your kind. But back to the point. You may not be one of mine any longer but that doesn’t make you useless. See, I’m not looking for an army Sammy. Welcome to my version of Survivor. I only need one of these kids, the best and the brightest really. You’re here to spice things up a little, a final test if you will. After all the Fey are notoriously hard to kill, even harder than some demons. If the winner can kill you it will prove they’re what I need and remove you from my path because let’s face it, you’ll try to stop me. It’s what you and your family always try to do.” With that the demon was gone and Sam sank back down to the ground in shock. Great, he was the final test for a bunch of physic’s meant to kill each other.
“What the hell?” Dean muttered as they pulled up to where the Roadhouse once stood. In its place was a burnt out wreck. He parked and they got out to search the debris but everything had been destroyed.
“Oh, my God.” Bobby breathed in shock.
“You see Ellen?” Dean called.
“No. No Ash, either.” Bobby answered, still searching. Dean found a familiar watch in the rubble and pulled on it only to let go as he realised it was still on a burnt wrist.
“Oh, Ash, damn it!” He groaned, Ash had been a good guy not to mention their only lead to Sam.
“This is…” Bobby started but trailed off.
“What the hell did Ash know? We’ve got no way of knowing where Ellen is. Or if she’s even alive. We’ve got no clue what Ash was gonna tell us. Now, how the hell are we gonna find Sam?”
“We’ll find him.” Bobby assured him only to watch Dean clutch his head in pain.
“Dean? “ He called but Dean didn’t answer as he groaned and doubled over. Bobby hovered, not sure what was going on.
“What was that?” He asked as Dean straightened.
“I don’t know. A headache?” Dean answered, bewildered.
“You get headaches like that a lot?” Bobby pushed and Dean chuckled.
“No. Must be the stress. I could have sworn I saw something.” Dean admitted and Bobby’s eyes widened.
“What do you mean? Like a vision? Like what Sam used to get?”
“What? No!” Dean answered immediately.
“I’m just saying.”
“Come on, I’m not some psychic.” Suddenly Dean fell against the car in pain and Bobby rushed to his side, grabbing him to help hold him up.
“Dean? Dean! Are you with me?” He called urgently and Dean looked up at him, blinking from the pain.
“Yeah, I think so. I saw Sam. I saw him, Bobby.” Dean told him, half in awe and half in terror.
“It was a vision.”
“Yeah. I don’t know how, but yeah. Whew. That was about as fun as getting kicked in the jewels.” Dean admitted sourly.
“What else did you see?” Bobby pushed, hoping there was something they could use to find Sam and ignoring where the vision could have come from for the moment.
“Uh… there was a bell.”
“What kind of bell?”
“Like a big bell with some kind of engraving on it, I don’t know.”
“Engraving?” Bobby had a sinking feeling.
“Yeah.” Dean answered, staring at him.
“Was it a tree? Like, an oak tree?” He pushed and Dean nodded.
“I know where Sam is.”
“I’m not Superman or anything. It’s no big deal.” Jake said defensively as he stared at the metal bar in his hand. Sam shrugged and pulled one off himself to show it was no big deal.
“You were in Afghanistan when this started?” He asked, knowing that Jake was the biggest threat to him. The man was a soldier, used to fighting humans true but he seemed to be adapting fast. Sam was just glad he didn’t seem to know Sam wasn’t the final test, yet.
“Yeah, I started getting headaches. And then there was this accident. This guy flipped his vehicle on a bad road. He got pinned underneath. I lifted it off him like it was nothing. Everybody said it was a fluke adrenaline thing.” Jake told him and Sam nodded.
“But then you did it again, right?” He pushed and Jake nodded, grinning slightly.
“Bench-pressed 800 pounds, stone-cold calm. I never told anybody, of course. It was just too crazy.” Was the semi-proud answer. That was a lot for a human. Sam hadn’t tested himself though he knew from Cearnach that Fey could lift more than that.
“Yeah. Crazy’s relative.” He muttered.
“I’m starting to get that.” Jake told him.
“By the way, I appreciate what you’re doing here.” That made Sam refocus on Jake in confusion.
“What am I doing?” Sam asked.
“Keeping calm. Keeping them calm. Especially considering how freaked to hell you really are. I’ve been in some deep crap before myself. I know the look.” Jake told him and Sam shrugged. Sam thought about what he’d said for a bit.
“You wanna know the truth? I’ve got this brother, right? And he’s always telling me how he’s gonna watch out for me, how everything’s gonna be okay. You know, kind of like I’ve been telling them.” Sam finally told Jake who looked at him.
“I don’t know if I believe it this time. I mean, the size of what’s coming –- it’s bigger than anyone has ever seen. I mean, it’s gonna get bad. And I don’t know if—“ Sam trailed off.
“If we’re gonna make it? It doesn’t matter if we believe it. Only matters that they do.” Jake finished for him and Sam nodded in agreement, really hoping he wouldn’t have to fight Jake, the guy was pretty insightful and very strong, not a good combination.
“Ava, where’d you go? Didn’t you hear us yelling?” Andy asked as he spotted her.
“Yeah, I heard you.” Ava put her hands to her head, concentrating. A cloud of black demon smoke appeared outside of the window, slipping in past the broken salt line.
“What are you doing?” Andy asked, nervously eyeing the smoke and backing away. The smoke materialised into a demonic little girl.
“Holy… “ He was cut off as the girl knocked him down, raking her long nails into his chest. Andy let out a gurgled cry as his blood splattered the room. Ava watched his corpse for a second in amusement before beginning to scream. Sam ran into the room and found her panicking over Andy’s body.
“Sam! I just found him like this!” She cried and Sam frowned, something wasn’t right.
“What happened?” he asked.
“I don’t know!” She sobbed.
“How’d that thing get in? Where were you?” he demanded and she shook her head.
“I just went to get some water from the well. I was only gone maybe, like, two minutes!”
“You shouldn’t have gone outside. Ava, we have to stay in here.” He tried to sooth and then his eyes locked on the salt line in front of the window, it was broken.
“Who did that?”
“I don’t know, maybe Andy—“ Ava started but Sam cut her off. He knew Andy, if only a little, but he didn’t know her.
“Andy wouldn’t do that. Ava, that line wasn’t broken when I left. Ava.” He told her and Ava sniffled.
“What? You don’t think that I—“ She tried but he once again cut her off, the pieces falling into place.
“I’ll tell you what I think: five months. You’re the only one with all that time you can’t account for. And that headache you got? Right when the demon got Lily.” Sam told her and she shook her head.
“What are you trying to say?” She sobbed and Sam just stared at her.
“What happened to you?” He demanded.
“Nothing!” She yelled but Sam stared her down and after a minute she dropped the act.
“Had you going though, didn’t I?” Ava wiped her eyes dry and grinned.
“Yeah. I’ve been here a long time. And not alone, either. People just keep showing up. Children, like us. Batches of three or four at a time.” She admitted and Sam stared at her in horror.
“You killed them? All of them?” He asked and she laughed.
“I’m the undefeated heavyweight champ.” She admitted proudly and Sam let his disgust show.
“Oh, my God.” He breathed, appalled at her lack of compassion.
“Don’t think God has much to do with this, Sam.” She told him airily.
“How could you?”
“I had no choice. It was me or them. After a while, it was easy. It was even kind of fun. I just stopped fighting it.” She answered easily.
“Fighting what? “ He asked in dread.
“Who we are, Sam. If you just quit your hand-wringing and open yourself up, you have no idea what you can do. The learning curve is so fast, it’s crazy, the switches that just flip in your brain. I can’t believe I started out just having dreams. Do you know what I can do now?” She asked and he nodded.
“Control demons.” He stated flatly, gathering his power.
“Ah, you are quick on the draw.” Ava put her hands to her head again.
“Yeah, I’m sorry, Sam. But it’s over.” The cloud of black smoke returned but just as it was about to enter Jake walked into the room, grabbed Ava and snapped her neck, killing her instantly. The smoke vanished and Sam, sagged slightly but didn’t release the gathered power. He’d been fooled by Ava, he wouldn’t let Jake get the drop on him.
“I think we can make it out of here now.” Sam said as they left the building that now held two bodies.
“But the Acheri demon…” Jake argued and Sam shook his head.
“No, no, no. Ava was summoning it, controlling it. It shouldn’t come back now that she’s dead. We’ve gotta go.” Sam told him.
“Not “we”, Sam. Only one of us is getting out of here. I’m sorry.” Jake’s answer made Sam’s blood run cold, so much for the hope that the demon hadn’t gotten to Jake.
“What?” He asked anyway.
“I had a vision. That Yellow-Eyed Demon or whatever it was, he talked to me. He told me how it was.” Jake’s answer was anything but comforting.
“No, Jake, listen. You can’t listen to him.” Sam tried but Jake shook his head.
“Sam, he’s not letting us go. You’re the final test, I kill you and I’m out of here. He said you’re not even human anyway. Now, if we don’t play along, he’ll kill us both. Now, I like you, man. I do. But do the math here. What good’s it do for both of us to die? Now, I can get out of here. I get close to the demon, I can kill the bastard.” Jake told him and Sam swallowed.
“You come with me, we can kill him together.” Sam tried again.
“How do I know you won’t turn on me?” Jake shot back and Sam sighed.
“I won’t. He’s right, I’m not one of you or human, I’m Fey. And a Fey must keep it’s word. I swear I will not turn on you. We can leave her Jake, go after the demon together.”
“I don’t know that.”
“Okay, look.” Sam took out his knife and put it on the ground.
“Just come with me, Jake. Don’t do this. Don’t play into what it wants.” Sam pleaded and after a second Jake put his weapon down too. Sam smiled in relief.
“Okay.” Then he was flying as Jake hit him. Sam managed to twist around so he landed in a crouch and then he was moving. Jake may be strong but Sam was faster. He tackled the soldier and got to work trying to pin him. Jake fought back and they rolled across the dirt, fighting to gain the upper hand.
“Sam!” Dean yelled as he saw his brother fighting someone. Bobby raised his gun but there was no way to get a good shot. Sam managed to get on top and raised his fist, slamming it into Jake’s head as hard as he could. Jake went limp under him and Sam staggered up, looking over at Dean and smiling. Dean ran across the clearing and wrapped his arms around Sam. Sam eagerly returned the embrace, going so far as to literally sweep Dean off his feet.
“You’re okay.” Dean whispered and Sam nodded.
“I’m okay. Andy’s dead. So are all the others but him.” Sam pointed at Jake and Dean went over to check him only to grunt as Jake surged up and slammed the knife into Dean’s stomach. Sam screamed and let loose a blast of power that sent Jake flying to land in an unmoving heal several feet away, his neck at an unnatural angle.
Sam grabbed Dean, being careful not to move the blade as he gently lowered Dean to the ground. Dean was pale, his hands grasping at the wound and his eyes fixed on Sam. Sam ripped Dean’s shirt away and stared at the wound.
“It’s okay Dean, you’re gonna be okay.” Sam murmured and Dean smiled, a little bit of blood leaking from his mouth.
“Sammy.” Dean moaned and Sam swallowed.
“I gotta pull it out Dean, you have to try and hold still.” Sam told him and then Bobby was there, holding Dean’s shoulders down. Sam looked up at the hunter and nodded, trying to smile. Dean swallowed and groaned and Sam got a good grip on the knife, pulling it out in one quick yank that made Dean scream again. Blood poured from the wound as Dean went limp, unconscious from either blood loss or pain. Sam put his hands over the wound and concentrated. He felt the healing power surge through him and into Dean’s wound, slowly beginning to knit flesh, muscle and even organs back together. It was the worst wound he’d ever tried to heal, not even Dean’s head wound had been so bad, and it was taxing him but he refused to give up. He would not lose Dean. The last thing he heard was Bobby calling his name from far away.