|Can A Demon Open Blind People's Eyes?
Eighth in the Second Sight Series
Supernatural, all audiences, future-fic.
Speculative spoilers for the last three episodes of the season, Dead Man's Blood, Salvation, and Devil's Trap, based on both promo pictures and sides, so, fair warning.
The characters and situations portrayed here are not mine, they belong to the WB. This is a fan authored work and no profit is being made. Please do not link to this story without appropriate warnings. Please do not archive this story without my permission.
God knew he'd done a lot of wrong things in his life, a lot of things that might be considered crimes in some places, sins in others, but there was nothing John Winchester could think of that would make him deserving of watching his entire family be killed in front of him.
He had, he thought, the right tools, the right time and God knew, the right team.
Keep the boys alive. Kill the demon. The two things did not have to be mutually exclusive. Avenge his wife, avenge Mary, end the nightmare this thing had brought down on his family. Kill it for stealing his family's heart, for stealing his heart, for robbing his sons of their childhood, for crushing the dream he and Mary had for both their sons.
What do you think I feed on if not hate, John Winchester? What nourishes me if not vengeance? What gives me power if not your willingness to sacrifice everything for me?
Not for you. To destroy you.
I brought you death and blood and fire and fear and what do you bring me now? Fear for the lives of your sons, their blood, their deaths. You've opened the door and invited me inside, Winchester.
Too late John realized he'd done just that. That old gun was powerful, no doubt about it. Could kill anything. Vampires, Ghosts, Werewolves, Demons.
Mortal flesh and blood.
Guns don't kill people. Demons do.
Dean would die fighting. It wasn't anything John needed to learn, no surprise. His eldest son didn't have an inch of back-down in him. Quit wasn't something John had taught him. Ever.
Dean didn't even really seem to be surprised when he realized his father's face was now but a mask for the thing he'd been hunting his entire life without ever having actually seen it.
John could be proud that Dean didn't pull his punches regardless of whose face the demon wore. That he didn't hesitate to use every trick, dirty or otherwise, to gain an advantage.
He'd taught him well. He expected no less.
It wasn't enough. Never could be. A single heart couldn't stand against a creature that had none. The power of flesh and blood and the spirit behind that smart mouth had gotten Dean out of more scrapes than anyone would have believed. They were all practice.
Practice wasn't the real thing.
He didn't even have to touch Dean to hold him against the wall. Didn't have to mark the ragged hitch in his breathing to know there were broken bones, broken ribs, blood flowing places it shouldn't.
But there was satisfaction in being that close, in pressing there to watch Dean's eyes glaze in pain, to force blood into paths it wasn't meant to follow, until Dean coughed it up and spit it in his face.
"That's my brave boy. That's my good soldier," he said approvingly and anger cleared Dean's gaze a little, made him twist in his hands in John's shirt.
"You're not going to win this. We won't let you."
"We? I see you and me, son. There's no 'we' here at all."
"You've got to fight this, Dad…"
"He did fight, Dean. Don't think he didn't. For so many years. So many battles -- all to get him ready for this one." He leans in close and can smell the blood on Dean's breath, the fear in his sweat. "It was lost before he started. All that anger, all that pain…his, yours, your brother's…what is you think I feed off of, if not that?"
Despair is the sweetest wine of them all.
In the end, he doesn't know why he's surprised that Sam, who never wanted any of this is the only one who can actually end it.
No doubt, that given the opportunity, Dean could shoot his father if that's what it took. And maybe he should have taken Sam first -- the boy was open, susceptible, terrified now and for most of his life. A half mad ghost with delusions of academic immortality had managed to get Sam to turn his gun on his own brother and Sam hadn't even really been all that pissed off at Dean.
If both John's sons are the chink in his armor, then Sam is the chink in Dean's. You always take the strongest first so you can play with the weakest later.
Sam had shed every bit of armor the minute he'd left his father and brother for an impossible dream. He'd been as vulnerable as John the night Mary died. All that lovely untouched power is still there, just as it had been twenty two years earlier. He'd seen the seed; he only needed to wait for it to ripen.
Sam has no armor. He barely has any protection around his heart at all, and what is there is a frail and temporary thing, driven by grief and a rage more impotent than John's had ever been.
It should have been easy. Possess the father, destroy the elder, devour the younger, and then get a nice after burn while John Winchester's worse fears are swallowed whole at being not just the cause but the instrument of his sons's deaths.
It is a triple-threat triumph that will get him immortalized in the Book of the Damned.
"Let him go."
"Let him go? We're just getting reacquainted," he says, and presses a little harder, watching Dean cough up more blood. He wants to taste it.
The bullet is a surprise. Not to kill. Sam is a lot of things, but a killer isn't one of them.
But by all the never ending stairs of hell, it burns, and John Winchester's body is still human even if he is occupied by something that never was. Blood trickles down his arm and mingles with Dean's on the floor.
So maybe he'll destroy the younger and devour the elder. Waste of a good bit of power but hardly a net-loss.
He lets go of Dean, lets him fall, and turns to face his youngest and weakest opponent. "The bullets aren't magic, Sam," he spread his arms and blood spatters the wall. "They won't destroy me, but they can kill your father. I'm not supernatural, not like vampires and werewolves and that's what those bullets are designed to kill. I've been here a lot longer than them, than even your kind, or even the nightmares mankind dredges up to explain your fears with."
"My father would rather die than hurt either of us or help you," Sam says, but there is a tremor in his voice and his eyes flicker to the steady stream of blood.
"Are you calculating how long your father can last before he bleeds to death, Sammy?"
The second bullet burns through his leg and surprises him so that he loses his grip on John's body long enough for him to fall. It doesn't actually matter. Using John's body is as much to torment as anything else. If this body dies, he can take Sam's or Dean's or anyone's…
"Let him go."
"Sam…he won't let him go. Finish it. Dad would want you to.." Dean says, voice raspy and wet and Sam doesn't even glance at him. "Do it, Sam…he'll forgive you. I will…Just…pull the trigger."
And John gets up, onto his feet, more under the demon's will than his own failing strength.
"Yes, Sam…pull the trigger because you've seen how much good those bullets have done so far…"
Sam tenses and cocks the gun to move another round into the chamber. "Those bullets weren't meant for this gun…they're only blessed silver. There's no ground demon's bone or angel's wings mixed in with the powder…not like in the next bullet."
And the next bullet is aimed directly at John Winchester's head.
Sam's eyes flicker right, to his brother, and the demon smiles and leaps…
John expects a bullet to the brain. He didn't expect the thing that has tormented and broken him, broken his sons, to just leave him. He didn't expect Sam to have kill him and still lose to the very creature he's tried to save Sam from.
He didn't expect to come out of this in one piece.
It is Dean's body that collides with his in probably the most graceless tackle Dean has ever executed in his life.
Because, of course the bullet goes through the demon just as it reaches for Sam. It doesn't matter that it goes through the demon's chest and comes out the other side because demons don't have hearts.
It doesn't matter when the demon so easily gets the gun away from Sam, holding it up and tossing it away before shoving Sam backwards into the wall. It doesn't matter because John can't help his son.
It doesn't matter that the demon has a hole in its chest that John can see light through, because demons are all darkness.
It doesn't matter…except when it does.
He is bleeding heavily and he knows it. Dean is bleeding too and maybe more dangerously, but still he is moving, crawling after the abandoned gun like it makes a difference when it so obviously hasn't done what it is meant to do.
Sam is screaming. It sounds oddly like it had when he was a baby, maybe not as high pitched but just as desperate and terrified and needing something that John doesn't know how to give him.
But he'll try. He'll die trying.
He hears the second shot as he manages to get to his knees.
And the demon has another long hole in him, letting light through.
Letting light in.
The demon seems to realize it as soon as John does.
The bullets won't kill it, they only opened the path that allows in what will.
And still it holds onto Sam, like it can pull enough of something from Sam to block the light…
But you can't block light with light outside of a physics lab.
The demon is gripping Sam's face as those twin holes of light start to widen and spread. Two. One for Sam and one for Dean and John's kind of hypnotized by the way they spread and merge and Dean is still trying to pry those blackened hands away from Sam…
Of course it would be fire that finally erupts when those circles of light merge and it takes John a moment to realize that the demon is gone -- really, gone and the flames are licking too close to his sons, to his boys…
For the second time in his life, John Winchester grabs his eldest son who grabs his younger brother and hauls them all out of the flames and away from the fear and out into the cool night air.
The cabin goes up like it's been doused in gasoline, flames and sparks shooting high into the night sky.
It doesn't take long for the other residents of the motor court to notice, and he's guessing they heard the shots…and he's still bleeding and Dean's cough sounds wetter every time it happens and his voice is choked and low and John realizes Sam hasn't moved or spoken since he stopped screaming.
It's automatic for John to reach for a pulse, to sob when he finds it and then try to see where Sam's hurt and how. Because Sam did it…and part of John remembers the demon's disdain for both his boys and there's pride and there's a little sorrow, and there's tired…but they are all still alive, now and here.
…breathing and that's all that matters…"There's help coming, Dean…It's coming. You did good, Dean…we did it…" John says because he can hear the sirens, and there are people coming closer, realizing they are hurt and need help. "Just hang on…Dean. Just…"
But of course Dean is hanging on, hanging onto Sam, and Sam's come around enough to grab tight to Dean's arm, and John finds a smile to give to his youngest son, to let Sam know how proud he is of him…
… and realizes Sam will never see it.