Paying in BloodAuthor:
Swearing, references to torture (but nothing explicit) vague season 7 spoilersAuthor's Notes:
Takes place sometime after 7.03Summary:
Years later, Sam’s mistakes can still catch up to him.
Something soft is brushing against Sam’s face. He tosses his head weakly, trying to ignore the irritating sensation and get back to sleep, but the tickling persists. Sam lets out a groan and tries to lift his hands to bat the offending object away, but his hands are met with resistance.
His eyes flutter open, and he immediately registers that he’s not, as he had assumed, in his bed at the motel, but lying on a metal table. His wrists are cuffed to the side, and his ankles are tied down with rope, offering him limited mobility. His shirt is missing.
Sam turns his head to the side, taking in his surroundings. He’s in what appears to be an abandoned warehouse. Sam’s been in enough warehouses to recognize one. To the right, there’s a table laid out with various medical supplies. Sam can only guess their purpose, and his brain provides him with nothing good.
Lucifer’s in front of him, wearing an indulgent smirk. He's holding a feather in his hand, and, when Sam's gaze focuses on him, he brushes it across Sam's upper lip. "Wakey wakey, Sammy," he coos.
Sam groans and focuses his gaze on the damp ceiling. He bites down, hard, on his lip, until he draws blood, but it does no good. Lucifer is still there, his smirk widening into a full-blown grin. “Sorry, kiddo. You are drugged to the gills. You’ll need more than a little bit of pain to get rid of me.”
Sam closes his eyes to shut out Lucifer and forces his brain to focus. The last thing he can remember before waking up in the warehouse is getting out of the shower. At least that explains his state of partial undress. But where’s his brother? He doesn’t remember seeing him before everything went black.
“Your brother’s fine,” Lucifer says. Sam opens his eyes. Lucifer looks almost pitying. “He left to get breakfast while you were taking a shower. Maybe he’s looking for you right now.” He shrugs. “But I doubt it. You and I both know that he doesn’t really need you. Truthfully, you’ve really become a burden to him.” Sam turns his gaze away from Lucifer, hoping that someone would come through the door and end Satan’s monologue.
Almost as if his prayers are being answered (for the first time in his life), two men enter the room through a door in the corner. They’re hunters, judging by the way their dressed, in jeans and flannel shirts, and they’re both over six feet tall, well built, and carry themselves with a lethal grace all seasoned hunters grow accustomed to, although Sam has never seen these two men before. Lucifer lets out a low whistle. “Looks like you’re in trouble now, Sammy. Don’t worry,” he grins, “I’ll watch out for you.”
Sam groans in response, and the hunters approach him, hovering over him, looking gleeful, like he’s some sort of freaking sacrifice. They’re staring down at him, and Sam finally breaks and says, “Who the hell are you?”
“I’m Kyle, and this is Michael,” the taller hunter says. “We’re hunters. Just like you. Like your daddy.” He pauses. “Like your brother.”
“What do you want with me?” Sam groans. He wishes he wasn’t so damned tired. He wishes he had the energy to come up with some sort of witty retort, show he’s not scared of these men. He wishes Dean were here.
Lucifer lets out a sigh. “It’s obvious what they want with you, Sammy. You started the apocalypse. They want revenge. Just like every other hunter in the world. Honestly, I thought you were the smart one, college-boy.”
Sam hears a noise over to the side and sees Michael rifling through the equipment on the table. He watches the hunter pick up a long, curved knife and touch his finger to the tip, testing for sharpness. Kyle follows Sam’s gaze and offers a truly ugly smirk. “Sam Winchester. You started the apocalypse. You said yes to the Devil. You killed our family. It is long past time for you to get what’s comin’ to you.”
Michael approaches Sam, holding the knife up. Lucifer pulls up a chair and sits down, crossing his arms. “Well, it was fun while it lasted, that’s for sure.”
Sam ignored his talkative companion and glared at the hunters. “You’ve gotta be kidding me,” he groans. “Look,” he says, “no one is sorrier than me about the apocalypse, and all the people who died because of my mistakes. But that was years ago. Isn’t it time to move on?” he begs. He doesn’t want to die, here on this table, with no one but Lucifer on his side. Things were starting to get right between him and Dean. And he needs to take care of his brother, with Castiel’s betrayal still fresh and Bobby recently homeless.
“We can’t move on,” Kyle growls. “Not until you’ve paid.”
Michael lowers the knife to Sam’s chest. And begins to cut.
Sam’s gone. Again. Dean knows he should be used to this by now. Sam’s always the one packing up and leaving, for one reason or another, and it’s not something that’s been beaten out of him by age or experience, as proven by his expedition to hunt a freaking kitsune two weeks ago, and it’s even more likely now, with Lucifer as his ever-present co-pilot, but even then, it’s likely he would’ve left a note. And he definitely wouldn’t have left all his stuff in the motel.
Dean had been gone maybe twenty minutes, and in that time, Sammy has disappeared. Dean pulls out his cell phone and presses ‘1’ on the speed dial. A second later, he hears a ringing coming from right behind him. That settles it. Sam would never leave without his phone, not even if Sam were leaving on a roadtrip with Lucifer. Without delay Dean hangs up and presses the ‘2’ instead. It rings twice before Bobby’s gruff voice answers.
“It’s Sam,” Dean tells him. “He’s missing.”
Five years ago, Bobby would’ve put out an APB to all the other hunters they knew, but now, that circle is growing ever smaller and less reliable. Still, Bobby promises to start putting out his own feelers and contacting the few hunters that he trusts. He contacts Jodi, and she promises to use her own resources. He tells Dean there’s not much he can do, and Dean does not argue. Much. He sits on the bed and cleans his guns and uses Sammy’s computer to search for signs, clues to where he could have disappeared to. He’s jumpy and anxious and there’s nothing he can do.
So he waits. And waits. And doesn’t leave the motel because what if Sam comes back?
And two days after his brother’s disappearing act, Bobby calls.
He knows where Sam is.
They’re going to get him back.
Sam’s been at the mercy of these two asshole hunters for God knows how long, with only Lucifer for company, but even Lucifer seems to be getting bored with the proceedings now. He’s sitting in the corner, fiddling with a Rubik’s Cube and completely ignoring Sam’s pained whimpers. Kyle and Michael are better at their job than Sam had assumed at the beginning.
Sam’s entire body is a wall of pain, and whatever drugs they’re continually running through his veins, combined with the blood loss, is making him seriously woozy. When the door slams open, flooding the warehouse with light, Sam thinks he’s dying.
Dean can see Sam from the small window at the top of the door, and, well, Sam’s a fucking mess. He’s spread out on a metal table, arms and legs strapped down with an IV dripping a clear liquid into his elbow. His shirt is missing and Dean can see numerous slices across his chest and marks that look suspiciously like burn marks along his torso and arms. Two men are in the room along with his brother. The smaller one is dragging a knife across Sam’s torso, grinning at Sam’s pained whimper. The bigger one is hovering over a table laid out with implements—torture implements.
“Get away from him,” Dean snarls.
Both men swing around, but Dean charges, doesn’t give them time to react. He takes down big guy first with a bullet to the shoulder and aims his gun at the guy holding the knife.
“Get the fuck
away from him,” Dean repeats.
The guy on the ground lets out a pained chuckle. “What are you laughing at?” Dean snarls, still keeping his gun trained on the guy still standing.
“Come on, Dean,” the big one says. “The whole fucking hunting world knows what your brother’s done by now. Not only did he start the apocalypse, but he said yes to freaking Lucifer. Why you let him live this long is a mystery to me.”
Dean gestures for Bobby to take over the watch of the other hunter and grabs the big guy by the throat, pinning him to the floor. “Okay, listen, buddy, that guy up there? He started the apocalypse, okay, I get that. I was pissed, too. But he didn’t do it alone. And he let Lucifer wear him to the prom, before throwing himself into Hell
just so worthless shit like you could live just a little longer. That guy spent a century in Hell with two pissed off archangels going at him. He put up with that to stop
the apocalypse. What were you doing? Besides looking for my brother? Because I don’t remember you at that cemetery.” Dean releases the guy’s throat and stands. “Take care of that,” he says to Bobby, before turning to his brother. Dean undoes the bonds around his wrists and ankles and moves up to cup Sam’s cheek. “It’s okay, Sammy. You’re safe now.”
Sam wakes to silence. It’s disconcerting after spending who knows how long listening to Lucifer’s drivel. He takes a moment before opening his eyes to revel in the feeling of being safe. He hasn’t felt truly safe since before his Wall fell, but now, tucked safe in bed with Dean undoubtedly nearby and no Lucifer, he feels a sense of contentment that he hasn’t felt in years.
Sam slowly opens his eyes. As expected, Sam’s in a motel room, the same one he and Dean had been staying in before he was taken. Sam turns his head to his right and spots Dean, lying on the other bed, facing him, eyes open, watching.
Sam clears his throat. “Hey.”
“Hey,” Dean says. “How you doing?”
Sam considers this. He was a little sore, of course, but Dean obviously put him on the good stuff when he was patching him up, and his head’s a lot less fuzzy than it was when he was strapped to that table in the warehouse. A little discomfort is nothing compared to Lucifer’s cage, after all. “I’ll be alright,” he says. He’s not lying.
Dean’s lips quirk upwards in a small, relieved smile. “Good.”