The Dope that we Smoke 3/6
Title: The Dope that we Smoke
Characters: Sam, Dean
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural except in my dreams. The title and the chapter names come from the lyrics of the song Mudhouse by Jason Mraz.
Warnings: Sam and Dean tend to swear and there is some violence and mild shmoop.
Word Count: 3,700
Summary: Sam and Dean are hunting a supernatural creature in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Unfortunately for Sam there's more than just the supernatural danger to be concerned about. Set during Season 1. hurt/delirious!Sam heroic/hurt!Dean
The Dope that we Smoke
Chapter 3 I Can be a Sensitive Man
Dean can hear the drip, drop, drip on the roof of the one story building. Although there aren't any windows in this God-forsaken room, he knows the sound belongs to the lazy, fat droplets that fall like colossal tears, each one creating a forlorn counterpoint to Sam's feverish muttering.
“Get'em off me Dean...please...off.” Sam paws at Dean's arm to get his attention, gazing up at his big brother through shaggy, dark bangs with a mixture of hope and trust.
“Sam, dude, you gotta stop talking. You've given me enough ammunition to give you shit until you're forty. I'm starting to get embarrassed for you.” Shaking his head, Dean goes back to studying the room and plotting their escape.
There's only so much a man can take after all, awesome big brother notwithstanding, and Dean has reached his limit.
Sam remains limply splayed on the floor, head cushioned on Dean's thigh. At first Dean had been mildly amused by his completely out-of-it kid brother's rambling, saving up the more humorous bits of nearly unintelligible stream of consciousness for when they get out of this hell hole and his brother is once again fair game for some merciless teasing. But, really, what's up with the fixation on twinkly lights?
“Dean?” A pout accompanies two wide, misty eyes, looking at him imploringly.
He's never been able to deny that pout anything, not when Sam was five and not now.
“All right, where are they this time?” Dean rubs the back of his neck, closing his eyes in defeat.
“Legs...the twinkly lights are pulling on m'legs. Make'em leave me 'lone.” Sam's pout is now an audible whine.
Grunting into the stretch, Dean makes shooing motions with his hands over Sam's legs and the complete lack of twinkly lights. “Go on now, leave Sam alone. Don't come back.” His menacing growl echos through the empty room.
He hopes his forceful voice will convince his hallucinating brother that the lights are gone for good this time, 'cause this is getting to be fucking ridiculous.
Sam sighs in relief and smiles up at him. From the look of gratitude aimed roughly in his direction, Dean gathers that the twinkly lights are no longer pulling on Sam's legs.
The venom shows no sign of wearing off anytime soon, hasn't loosened it's hold on Sam one iota. Dean begins to second guess his decision to leave the antidote hidden outside. He'd wanted to keep it out of the hillbilly's hands as he'd been sure they would search him before letting him into the compound and he'd been right on that score. Since they only had the one syringe left, it had seemed best to keep it safe at all costs.
Getting Sam off this bizarre...farm, for lack of a better term, in his current condition, is going to be nightmarishly difficult. Dean gets the feeling that there's more going on here at the 'neverland ranch' than meets the eye. He has a plan though, it's not fully developed, but he has a plan. He always has a plan and he certainly wouldn't admit it if he didn't.
Sam has been quiet for a while now, a nice change of pace from the nonsensical ranting, but the lack of sound makes Dean nervous suddenly. Considering his brother, Dean notes that Sam's cheeks appear hollow, his eyes sunken. He seems unaware of the occasional twitching of long arms and legs.
The heat Dean feels when he ghosts his hand across Sam's forehead suggests infection or supernatural complications from the gashes inflicted by the Blink Bear's claws. If only their hosts hadn't taken his holy water he could at least clean the wound. It's possible they didn't think to search Sam before dumping him in this room, not likely, but possible. Dean goes through Sam's jacket pockets, inner and outer, where he normally keeps his tools, but everything is gone.
“Hey, Sam, you gonna be ready to walk out of here when I tell you it's time to go?” Dean tries to catch his brother's gaze, ends up fisting his jacket and shaking it slightly until Sam turns confused eyes back his way.
“'M a pet, Dean.” Sam looks up at him as though he's hoping his big brother will be able to make sense of this whole crazy mess, like Dean has all the answers in a world gone mad.
Speechless, Dean tries to figure out what Sam could possible mean, wonders if he understood the slur of words correctly., casts about for an appropriate response, finds none.
“Kicked me...said they were keepin' me as a pet.” A tongue stutters over dry, chapped lips.
The muscles in Dean's jaw bunch together as he speaks through clenched teeth. “Those assholes kicked you? Where'd they kick you, Sam?”
One hand shakily moves to rub along sore ribs.
The all too familiar urge to stand as a ward against danger, to defend the defenseless, to guard those unable to protect themselves, pulses through his veins, causing his head to pound and tension to creep into his neck. Right now, his brother is about as defenseless as they come.
Dean doesn't tolerate bullies, those cowardly individuals who prey upon the weak and find happiness in the suffering of others. The objects of his contempt and ire aren't present for him to vent his wrath on, so he shelves it for when they are, tucks it away for later. That's something he's good at, shoving his feelings down deep within himself. He's had a lot of practice.
With a gentleness that belies his inner turmoil, he opens his brother's jacket and pulls up the still damp cloth of his shirts to expose the mottled bruising on his lower left ribcage. Hissing in empathy, Dean presses lightly along each rib. None of Sam's ribs shift under his touch. Not broken then, possibly cracked, definitely painful.
Sam doesn't groan or even cringe during the examination which is unusual given the level of bruising. Come to think of it, he hasn't complained at all about the gashes on his leg either. Not that Sam is normally wimpy about injuries, but he will acknowledge pain most of the time.
“Hmmm, that Blink Bear venom could be sold commercially as one hell of a pain killer, 'cause I know your ribs have to hurt like a sonofabitch.” Dean comments as he eases Sam's shirts back into place, sucks his bottom lip between his teeth as worry lines crease his forehead.
Struggling to sit up, Sam pushes himself clumsily off Dean's lap, twists onto his side and gropes for support along the wall to keep from falling over. “We goin' now, Dean? I wanna go now. Don' wanna be a pet.”
Sam's tracking of the conversation seems to be about ten minutes slow as he's just now answering Dean's previous question on whether he's going to be ready to leave when it's time. The constant anxiety he's displaying over the idiotic 'pet' comment, apparently made by one of the goons, has Dean wondering if susceptibility to suggestion might be one of the side affects of the venom and what other symptoms they might run into.
“I'm working on it, Sammy. Just stay here for now. Who takes care of you, little brother?” Propping Sam up so that he's leaning more or less securely with his back flush with the wall, Dean gives his brother a reassuring pat on the shoulder before flexing his calf muscles to get the blood circulating through legs stiff from hours of pillowing his brother's head. Persistent pins and needles dog his limping tour of the featureless room.
Not expecting an answer, he's surprised to hear Sam's emphatic, “You do.” The words are spoken as if they are an indisputable truth, ingrained over a lifetime and requiring no thought as to the answer.
“Damn straight.” Dean nods, unexpected warmth spreading through him.
The room smells of fresh paint and cigar smoke, maybe with some other smoke mixed in considering the plants surrounding the building. The floor is covered in a cheap industrial grade carpet which provides no padding. Dean isn't sure what the purpose of the room might be, but it makes a pretty effective prison cell.
Thick walls withstand his experimental kick and give back a solid sounding thud. Not that he's actually thinking about tearing the walls down, but it's good to know his options. The heavy, wooden door's hinges are on the wrong side, and the lock does indeed turn out to be a deadbolt, not impossible to pick, but requiring tools he doesn't have handy at the moment.
A quick search through his pockets reveals a box of matches. Everything else, his flask of holy water, flashlight, extra gun clip, and salt canister had been confiscated along with his gun. Of course, he hasn't forgotten about his knife, still nestled snug inside his boot.
Rough voices and clomping footsteps warn of their approach long before the lock clicks, the door opens, and four scroungy men push their way into the room. All four men have guns trained on him where he stands in front of Sam, a position he took as soon as he heard them coming. Two of the men carry glocks, G21's from the look of them, the other two hold shotguns.
Of the four sneering men, he only recognizes one of them from his earlier encounter, the hawk-nosed piece of shit who had searched him and taken his Taurus PT92 handgun...Gideon, he thinks. The other three are cut from the same mold only in larger sizes.
Dean's eyes narrow dangerously. “Which of you heroes kicked my brother? I'd really like to shake the hand of someone brave enough to take on a sick man and congratulate him on his stunning victory 'cause I'm sure Sam here must have put up one hell of a fight.” His words drip sarcasm as he motions behind himself towards Sam's slumped form, shifting to allow them a brief glimpse and then repositioning to block Sam from view once again.
The largest of the men steps forward, shotgun never wavering from Dean's chest, anger turning his lips a bloodless white.
“Ya got a mouth on ya, doncha boy? Yer lucky I don't just shoot ya right where yer standin'. I got my orders though, yer both to be kept alive until Mr. Adam gits here tomorrow. He's got some plans y'all might be interested in.” The man adjusts his John Deere cap with one hand while winking conspiratorially at his cohorts, suddenly in a much lighter mood.
Information is power and Dean senses an opportunity to get the 411 on the operation of this friendly neighborhood compound, possibly learn more about how many back woodsmen he's going to have to go through on his way out. Counting the other two with Gideon when he first arrived plus these four, he's met six already, seven including Adam who seems to be the leader, or boss, or whatever.
Addressing the now smirking boor, Dean baits, “So Jethro, you always do what Adam tells you? Don't you have the balls to make your own decisions?”
The taunt serves dual purposes, keeping the men talking and focusing all irate attention in the room on him, away from Sam.
One of the pistol toting guys, black hair slicked back away from his face, puts a restraining hand on the now glaring, red faced boor's shoulder. “Caleb, hold your temper. He's a dead man anyway, soon as Mr. Adam's done asking his questions, you'll get your chance at him.”
Caleb shoots an appreciative glance over his shoulder and sucks air through his teeth. “Yer right Benjamin. I kin afford ta be patient. Mr. Adam only wants ta find out how much they know about our experiment in protective creatures. After this one's spilled 'is guts, Mr. Adam won't care what happens to 'im.” An anticipatory glint flashes in Caleb's eyes and they flicker over to rest on Dean as though alighting on prey.
Vibrating tension like a coiled spring hums along nerve endings in response to the blatant threat and Dean can't help but to spare a glance of his own back at Sam, a quick status check just to assure himself that his brother is still all right. Sam's eyes are blank, not registering the danger, checked out, Dean realizes.
Experiment in protective creatures. The words spark sudden comprehension. “Are you telling me that you dumb fucks are responsible for the Blink Bear?” He asks, incredulous not because he believes the men to be innocent farmers, but because he's surprised anyone would be stupid enough to play around with something so lethal and yet be intelligent enough to work out how to create the creature, summon it, or whatever they did to get it here.
“Heh, so ya have met Bubba. I figured as much seein' as how yer brother's jacked up worse'n I've ever seen.” Gideon's lopsided leer displays teeth stained tobacco yellow. “Mr. Adam'll be right pleased to hear it. He's got some tests he's just been itchin' to try out and yer brother'll make the perfect guinea pig.” The pistol in Gideon's hand bounces slightly with his excitement.
The man is either a sadist or a lackey, gunning hard for his superior's approval, Dean decides.
“Yeah well,I killed your precious creature and you're not touching Sam, end of story.” His voice deepens until it resembles nothing more than a growl rumbling a warning.
“Ya hear that, Frank? He says he killed Bubba.” Gideon turns his leer on a man so skinny he looks like a walking cadaver, skin stretched tight over knobby bones.
All four men snort scornfully.
Throwing a grimace that must pass as a smile at Gideon, Frank caresses the barrel of his shotgun. The sleeves of his flannel shirt don't quite reach his wrists and the bones sticking out from the cuffs are grotesquely sharp.
Frank flaps a hand in Dean's direction. “Nice try, but ya cain't kill Bubba, hot shot. It's invulnerable. And as far as yer brother goes, how're ya gonna stop us?”
“You bunch of idiots don't know as much as you think you do. That supernatural creature was mortal, and now it's an ex-supernatural creature as in no longer living, deceased, failing to breathe, a doornail.” Dean ignores the comment about Sam, it's a moot point as far as he's concerned, a rhetorical question not worthy of an answer. Just let them try to get past him and they'll find out how he's going to stop them.
“Makes no difference, we made the first one, we can make another.” Benjamin's country drawl is much less pronounced than his compatriots.
“Are you honestly that moronic? What possible reason could you have for creating that monstrosity?” Sometimes human motivations elude him and Dean just doesn't understand his own race. So many human emotions hold no meaning for him, greed, jealousy, self-preservation. Those feeling that often consume other people, rule their lives, hold little sway over him. He's never had much, never wanted much in the way of physical things. Sure, money's great as far as it buys a warm bed to sleep in at night, good food to eat when he's hungry, a few comforts, but more than that...he can only carry so much with him from place to place.
He can count his most fervent desires on one hand. He wants his family to be safe and healthy. He wants his family to need him, to care about whether he lives or dies. He wants for his life to matter, to make a difference in the lives of other people, save them, to be a force for the powers of good against evil. Shit, that sounds so fucking lame, but his father had instilled in him a belief that human life is sacred and he has to do anything, give up everything, to protect it.
So the all-consuming drive to amass wealth makes no sense at all to Dean. He just doesn't get it.
“That creature's right useful. Keeps pryin' eyes away from our cash crops, makes a damn fine deterrent. Why, we ain't needed ta shoot no one since Bubba come along. 'Til now anyway.” Frank runs a bony finger along the trigger guard of his shotgun, taps the metal a few times, and then places his finger back on the trigger.
“We have millions of reasons, millions of cold, hard reason. Do you have any idea how much that thing's venom will sell for on the black market? It's got a hundred and one uses, both recreationally and as a weapon. All we need is a test subject for reactions to different combinations of substances. That's where your brother comes in.” Benjamin monologues.
“Not. Happening.” Dean grits though clenched teeth as he flexes his knees and widens his stance, presenting as much of a barrier as he can.
At a signal from Benjamin, all four men stalk forward.
They want to keep him alive for questioning, so Dean assumes they won't shoot him. He considers pulling his knife out of his boot, but isn't there a saying about not bringing a knife to a gun fight? Besides, the hillbilly fucks don't know he has a knife yet, best to keep that his little secret for now.
“Stay down, Sam.” Dean warns, hoping a part of his brother is still tuned in to him and cognizant of what's happening.
Benjamin and Caleb come at him from his left while Gideon and Frank angle around to his right. As soon as they get within range, Dean grabs Caleb's shotgun by the barrel, ducks underneath it and yanks, hard. The flashing boom of the gunshot resounds through the room as the shot gets buried in the wall over Dean's shoulder. Unprepared for the move, Caleb's grip loosens and Dean is able to swing the butt of the shotgun up to connect with the large man's chin. Windmilling arms sweep the gun out of his hands and both Caleb and the shotgun clatter to the ground.
Swinging quickly to the next closest threat, Dean plants his left foot firmly and sends a sideways kick with his right into Frank's bony hip. Frank slams into Gideon and they both topple to the floor in a tangle of limbs.
Before he can set up the next move, Benjamin grabs his arms and locks them behind his back. Clambering to his feet again, Caleb shakes his head to clear his vision and swipes blood off his chin as he stomps close enough to land a stunning punch to Dean's temple with one of his ham-sized fists. With a wrenching twist, Dean breaks the arm lock, spins to deliver a hard right to Benjamin's jaw, and follows up with a left to the black haired man's stomach. Benjamin's once neatly slicked back hair now falls untidily around his face as he staggers backwards.
The adrenalin crashing through him drowns out the pain from the blow to his head. Caleb charges him like an angry bull, which is exactly what he looks like, head down, face bright red. Dean sidesteps the lunge, grasps Caleb's shoulder and propels him into the wall, head first. The impact creates a hole in the wall where pieces of plaster rain down on top of the unconscious brute.
In the ebb and flow of the chaotic fight, Dean has moved so that he no longer blocks access to Sam. Once untangled, Frank and Gideon take advantage of Dean's distraction to attempt removing Sam from the room. Guns holstered, the two country bumpkins each latch on to one of Sam's limp arms and haul him up onto shaky legs, having to support most of his weight between them. Sam, cognizant only that he's being separated from Dean, begins thrashing ineffectively, tugging his arms out of rough hands, swinging his head around until he catches sight of his older brother across the room.
“Dean...” Sam moans.
Whether it's a cry for help or a warning doesn't matter, the one word pierces the turmoil and spurs Dean back to his side. Dean takes Frank down with a series of lightning fast jabs that he barely sees coming.
Unfortunately, Dean doesn't notice Benjamin sidling up behind him. There's a loud crack, energy-stealing pain explodes at the back of his head. Pistol-whipped. His vision tunnels, he reels sideways, fighting to stay on his feet. Another blow follows on the heels of the first and Dean falters, pain eclipsing rational thought, knees buckling, darkness consuming.
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