Characters: Dean, Sam, Missouri, Bobby
Spoilers: None that I can think of yet
Wordcount: 2380 (this chapter)
Summary: What should have been a routine job goes wrong, and Sam and Dean's lives may never be the same again.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
That night they check into a friendly looking, family run motel on the outskirts if a small town four hundred or so miles from Lawrence. Dean had remained quiet for most of the rest of the journey, turning the music back up loud and shooting down any of Sam's attempts at conversation. Sam didn't mind.
Sam feels like guilt is slowly eating him up from the inside out, chewing at the lining of his stomach until it is all he can think about. He blames himself. He should have managed to burn the bones on his first attempt, his brain keeps telling him, if he had done that, Dean would be fine right now. He hasn't mentioned this to his brother, partly because there is no point, Dean will deny he is to blame, and partly because he doesn't know whether the thought has occurred to Dean yet.
Outside the window, the sun has just sunk below the horizon, leaving behind a feint glow of pink and blue that slowly fades to black the further up Sam looks. It is early, and to Sam the inside of the motel feels stifling, he needs to get out. Dean is once again sitting on the side of the bed, staring into nothing and probably thinking himself deepen and deeper into a depression. Sam wonders how much of this Dean will be able to take before he begins to crack up. In his imagination he can see the future, an endless series of days and nights spend futile researching ways to help Dean while his brother sits around feeling useless. They have to find something to do, not just for the sake of Dean's sanity, for his own as well.
Unfortunately, small towns offer very little in the way of entertainment, really there is only one option other than staying in the room and watching TV. “Want to get a drink?”
He fully expects Dean to say no. He expects an argument and he expects to lose. Instead Dean nods and gets up, “That's the first useful suggestion you've made in days, Sammy.” Well, Sam never claimed to be able to read minds, but he had thought he could read Dean. “But I'm going to be counting on you for an accurate description of every girl in the bar,” Dean adds, “Think you can handle that?”
Sam pretends not to notice the nervous uncertainty that the joke covers, and laughs, “I'll do my best,”
The nearest bar is just a few minutes walk from the motel, something that Dean sees as both a good and very bad thing. Good, because Sam doesn't have to drive – out of everything, what he really resents is that this shit means that Sam keeps getting to drive his baby – but bad, really bad because it means he had to venture outside and walk such a long distance relying on Sam to guide him. Not that he doesn't trust Sam to keep him from walking into a tree or into a busy road or something, but he just finds it humiliating, not to mention nerve-racking being led around in the dark while knowing everyone else can see him.
Sam finds a table in a fairly quiet corner of the bar and orders them two beers. They drink in almost complete silence as Dean begins almost immediately to question how good an idea this was. Sure, he never likes to say no to a drink, but it occurs to him that not being able to size up the bar's patrons puts him at a huge disadvantage if there is any trouble, and that he has only the vaguest idea of how to get back outside.
Worse still, he realizes that this is Sam's lame attempt to pretend that everything is normal, and that fact alone makes it feel anything but.
He knows his logic is faulty, but he decides that the drunker he gets, the less he will care about any of that, and that has to be a good thing. Dean drinks often, but not usually with the intention of getting drunk. Sure, he's been drunk, more times than he can count, but this is the first time that is has felt like the only option. He needs to escape, if only for one night, to sink into oblivion and not have to think about his problems until the hangover hits. And so he embarks on a mission to drink as much as he can in the shortest possible amount of time.
Five, or maybe six drinks in, after the noise level in the bar has risen to a level where he is sure no one else will hear him, alcohol making it easier to speak, he places his bottle on the table, keeping hold of the top so he don't lose it, and leans across slightly.
“Sammy, I'm so fucking screwed,”
Sam has never able to match his brother drink for drink, but had nonetheless being making a good effort so far. He squints at the double image of Dean sitting across the table and can't think of a single thing to say. “Maybe we should go?”
“No,” Dean shakes his head and takes another swig of beer, “I need to get really drunk tonight,” he grins, “blind drunk, even.”
Sam frowns, “Do you think that's the best idea?” he can feel himself slurring as his tongue refuses to form the correct shapes to say the words. Dean often drinks, but not normally as much or as quickly as tonight. He usually prefers to stay reasonably sober so that he can defend himself if necessary. The few times Sam had seen his brother completely wasted, not including the time when he was fifteen and and snuck off with some local kids when their dad wouldn't take him on a hunt, were times when everything had completely gone to shit and he genuinely didn't care what happened to him.
Dean shrugs, “No, Sammy, it's a fucking stupid idea, but I don't know what else to do. I don't know how to do this,” he indicates his eyes with a wave of his hand, “This wasn't part of the plan.”
“I know. But, Dean, we'll come up with a new plan, okay? Everything will be fine,” The words sound hollow in his own ears, and he knows Dean can't have failed to pick up on it too.
Dean doesn't reply straight away, then “Sam, you repeat this to anyone and I'll break your nose, understand?”
“Um...” He doesn't have anyone to repeat it to, and even if he did, assuming he remembers anything in the morning, he wouldn't. So it sounds like a fair deal. The room spins wildly as he nods his head, “Okay.”
“Good. So go get us a couple more drinks and we'll start working on this new plan of yours.”
They arrive back at the motel late, Dean babbling about how strange it is when it feels like the room's spinning but you can't see it, “don't have to worry about seeing double though, do I?”
Sam doesn't answer, just locks the door behind them and collapses on the bed, asleep before his head even hits the pillow.
When he wakes up, Dean isn't there.
Consciousness returns slowly. For a long time, Sam just lies there, partially covered by the blankets that have somehow wrapped themselves around his body during the night, eyes closed, head pounding, trying to fall back into the blissful oblivion of sleep. His full bladder and pounding head eventually force him from his sanctuary, into the bathroom, where he relieves himself, takes two Tylenol and drinks so much tap water that it feels like his stomach is about to explode. As he staggers back out into the bedroom, aiming at his bed and completely ready to sleep until mid afternoon, he notices that Dean's bed is empty.
“Dean?” he calls out, knowing that if he isn't in the bedroom and he isn't in the bathroom there is nowhere else for him to be but still hoping for an answer. None comes. His entire body seems to protest against the motion as Sam walks across the room and, just because if Dean is in the room there is nowhere else for him to be, crouches down and peers under each of he beds. Again, nothing.
Hangover almost completely forgotten, he ruses to the door, opens it and looks outside, left and right, there is no sign of Dean. He calls his cell, and gets voicemail. He panics. Under normal circumstances, he would assume that he had just popped out for coffee or something to eat, but nothing that had happened lately could even begin to be classified as remotely normal, and considering the amount that Dean had drank the night before, it seemed unlikely that he would be capable of going anywhere. And even if he were, he wouldn't. Sam knows this because he knows Dean, and he knows how scared he is, even if Dean refuses to admit it to himself. His brother had been apprehensive about going anywhere with Sam leading him, there was no way he'd go it alone, not unless he had no choice in the matter.
Sam scrolls through his cellphone and dials a few numbers, anyone Dean might have called. No one has heard anything from him. He runs back outside, just to make sure he didn't miss him, checking every inch of the exterior of the motel for Dean or any signs that he had been there, for any indication that there had been a fight, for blood, for anything at all. He finds no sign of his brother.
Dean opens his eyes and seen nothing. He is almost beginning to get used to that though, so that isn't what causes the strange, uneasy feeling that is churning his stomach. He doesn't remember everything that happened last night, and a part of his subconscious whispers in his ear that it might well be better that way, but he does, just about, remember making it back to the motel and falling asleep fully clothed on his bed. He has never known himself to sleepwalk, and if he ever did, he is sure that even his unconscious self wouldn't choose such an uncomfortable position to sleep in when he was done wandering around.
He is slouching in a chair. A hard, wooden, straight backed chair, the kind that medieval torturers wished they had dreamed up. His head had fallen forward against his chest and was, probably more to do with the events of the night before than his sleeping position, pounding like he had been hit with a sledgehammer. He tires to move, and realizes he can't.
His wrists are tied together behind the back of the chair, the wood digging painfully into his arms at the elbows, no wriggle room left, and no chance of unfastening himself any time soon. His ankles are tied firmly one to each of the chair's front legs. He struggles, trying to loosen the thick, coarse ropes holding him in place, drafting every muscle in his body into service wriggling and squirming in a futile attempt to get free. He stops quickly however, when he feels the chair begin to rock from side to side as he moves. The last thing he wants is to fall over and break one of his arms with the weight of his own body pressing onto the elbow through the wooden back of the chair.
“Hello?” he calls out into the darkness that surrounds him, “Anyone here? Sammy? Whoever you are this isn't funny.” His head aches ferociously, presumably from the beer the night before, though he isn't ruling out having been drugged or hit over the head by whoever had brought him here. He ignores it and now that the chair is stable again, he begins to work on the ropes again, this time concentrating just on the ones holding his arms in place.
“Awake, are you?”
The room had been completely quiet and as the unknown voice cuts through the silence, Dean freezes. “Who's there?”
There is no reply. Dean stops his attempt to loosen the ropes and turns his head in the direction of the voice, in front of him and a little to the left. “Answer me, damn it. You don't know who you're messing with.”
“Actually, I do.”
A voice isn't a lot to go on, but he is sure it isn't someone he knows. His captor is a man, he speaks without any obvious accent, his voice is deep and he sounds educated. From the direction the voice appears to be coming from, he also sounds tall, but it's hard to tell from his position sitting down. Dean also knows that this guy isn't your typical random maniac, if such a thing even exists. No matter how drunk Dean was, it should have been impossible to get into their motel room without him waking up, let alone to somehow move Dean out. Whoever this guy is, he knows what he's doing.
“If you know me, you know I'm not the kind of guy you kidnap and tie up. I mean, I like a bit of kinkiness as much as the ext guy, but this is pushing it a bit, okay?”
He thinks, but isn't sure, that he can hear a smile as the man replies, and that pisses him of even more, “So, what are you going to do about it?”
Dean grins right back at him, “I'm gonna get loose, and then I'm gonna kick your ass.”
A fist connects with his face, hard, and for a fraction of a second, the blackness before his eyes is replaced by a flash of white that appears to cross his line of vision diagonally from the site of the impact.
“See you later,” says the voice, and through the pain, Dean catches the slight emphasis on the first word, and grimaces. He hears footsteps walking away, and a door closing, and remains still, head tilted back in the position the blow had left it, waiting until he is sure he is alone. He hears the sound of the door being bolted, and then resumes his attempt to untie the knots.