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: 5,500
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 5 If You Can't Stand the Kitchen, Get the Hell Out the Heat
Caleb trudges through the sloppy drizzle without giving it a second thought, it's always raining. The almost constant rainfall and the isolation are what make this the perfect location for growing their cash crop, not to mention their other illicit activities. Their operation is small, as these types of things go, but highly lucrative.
Each of the men here have a specialized set of skills and responsibilities. Adam is the brains of the outfit, the front man. He makes the deals and the decisions. Benjamin is his right hand man. He makes sure all Adam's plans and orders are carried out to his specifications. Daniel is the farmer of the bunch, tending the fields and presiding over the harvest. Effriam has a way with the still and produces the finest whiskey known to man, otherwise known as the nectar of the gods. Frank is the one who leaned how to create and control the creature. His uncle in Montana, or some other relation, Caleb hadn't really been listening to the specifics, had taught him how. Frank takes a lot of pride in his ability to control the bear-like beast, although, really, the control is pretty loose at best, more of a 'you can do whatever the hell you want as long as you don't eat us' kind of thing. Gideon is just a general lackey. His latest assignment is to develop some kind of marketable substance from the venom of the creature. Adam's always trying to come up with new products, he's very progressive that way.
As head of security, Caleb provides the muscle and he's happy to do so. He's passionate about his job, fuckin' loves it, as a matter of fact. Where else would he have full access to numerous weapons, free reign to do with them as he pleases, to take care of trespassers in any way he sees fit. And the pays not bad either.
Up until recently, he's never had to curb his inclination for violence. Mr. Adam never cared about what happened to the unfortunates who found their way to the compound in the past, had always encouraged his slightly sadistic tendencies. This time it's different though and Caleb resents his power being rescinded, his authority being questioned. He resents those two arrogant, overly-confident kids for screwing up a perfectly good gig.
Part of his job involves maintaining the security system. The monitoring equipment is housed in a shed on the outskirts of the property, his office, he likes to call it. He spends the majority of his time in there, puttering around and watching for any signs of curious hikers or overly zealous park rangers. The potential for unwelcome visitors is higher now that their watch dog/monstrous creature has been put out of commission, even if that situation is only temporary and soon to be rectified by the creation of a new beast.
Boots squelching through slick mud, Caleb makes his way across the field and into the outbuilding. Familiar rows of high-tech computer monitors greet him as he enters, incongruous with the very rustic appearance of the building itself. He checks each one, noting the positions and views of the property provided on the black and white screens. Nothing moves within a 100 square foot radius of their land that he isn't aware of. It makes him feel omnipotent, all-knowing, all-seeing. He flicks the walkie-talkie attached to his belt on and transmits an all-clear signal to the occupants of the compound.
Satisfied, Caleb nods to himself and grins, all brackish teeth and malice. Tonight they summon a new Blink Bear, enslave it, and collect a supply of venom from it. Once Mr. Adam has finished with his two pesky guests, they'll be turned over to him. Happy days are here again.
The radio receiver crackles and Benjamin's clipped voice comes over the line, "Hey Caleb, your services are required down in the basement. You might wanna bring some of your favorite tools."
Oh yeah, happy days are here again.
Dean's stomach churns and he swallows reflexively, glaring up at the sound of the door opening.
The two sneering, ranch-hands who come toward him, the smallish one and the skinny one, Gideon and Frank he thinks, are both chuckling morbidly and staring at him, as though they're sharing an inside joke and he's about to be let in on the punch line. Somehow, he doesn't think he's going to get quite the level of enjoyment out of the joke as they are.
"On yer feet, wise ass. Yer brother needs a bit of persuadin' an' we think yer jus' the one ta do it." Gideon snickers while prodding Dean's leg with one well worn work boot.
"You know, that back water twang of yours just gets funnier every time I hear it." Dean tries on his signature cocky smile. It wavers for a moment before sticking, the knot at the back of his head sending a jolt of electricity through every pain receptor in his body.
Dean puts up a token amount of resistance when they grab his arms and haul him up, simply because it's expected, but honestly, he doesn't care where they're taking him. Anywhere is better than locked in this shitty room that doubles as a prison cell.
Disabling vertigo knocks his legs out from under him as soon as they get him vertical. He drops to his knees, head hanging low, breathing heavily through his nose, eyes closed. The two men have firm grips on his upper arms and they don't give him a chance to collect himself. There's no pause for him to stop the dizzying rotation of the room or to convince his stomach not to rebel. Instead he's pulled roughly along until they reach a wooden staircase where he receives a shove that sends him tumbling head over heels onto the cement floor below.
"Bastards!" Dean groans, feeling a trickle of blood from a new cut above his left eye. Great, just great, that's all he needs. Now on top of fuzzy double vision, he has to deal with blood running into his eyes, impairing his sense of sight even more, and he's pretty sure he's going to need to be able to see at some point. As if his job of rescuing his brother and making it out of this fucking compound hadn't already been difficult enough.
Laying as still as possible, Dean fights to bring his faltering heart beats into some semblance of regular, his harsh breathing into something like deep and even. The smell of burning marijuana permeates the air. His head hurts so much, it feels as though it might rupture, spilling brain goo on every surface, and he kinda wishes it would, just to get it over with.
He's so preoccupied with tamping out the scores of fireworks exploding behind his eyes that he doesn't even sense the presence of others in the room. Not until Gideon and Frank tromp down the stairs behind him, brutally drag him across the floor, and yank his head up with fistfuls of his hair does he see Sam.
Sam is a wreck. Floppy chocolate brown hair spilling across his forehead, shoulders hunched forward like he's trying to take refuge by curling into a ball, legs pulled straight out in front of him and buckled at the ankles on top of the gurney, mouth hanging open with a dopey, vacant look.
Shuddering internally, Dean allows himself a brief moment of self pity. It's all up to him then. Sam's in no position to help and that means the weight of their survival falls squarely on top of his currently aching shoulders. The thing is...Dean isn't positive he can get himself out of this screwed up mess, much less carry his ginormous baby brother out, and that's what it's boiling down to. He's certainly not high tailing it out of here without the dopey idiot, so where exactly does that leave them?
Then Sammy winks at him. It's just the barest twitch of an eyelid and no one would have known it for what it was except Dean who knows every facial expression that has ever crossed his brother's face. In fact, he senses it more than he sees it, his eyesight compromised the way it is, but he's certain Sam knows what's going on and they're back in business, ready to tackle this obstacle, take on these dumb assholes, as a team.
That wink fortifies him like pure adrenaline or an entire pot of coffee.
Straining against the cruel hands clamped in his short hair, Dean glances around the basement for the first time. Five of their captors, including Gideon and Frank still stationed behind him, sneer back at him from various points around the room. Benjamin stands next to Sam's bed, leaning a carefree hand on the mattress next to his brother's hip and holding a bong up to his face like a threat. Raindrops glisten on Caleb's cap and windbreaker where he slouches next to a closed door. The man must have just come from outside. Adam presides over the entire gathering with the air of a royal monarch from his position on the far side of the room.
That makes the odds two against five. Under the best of conditions those odds might be workable. These aren't even close to the best of conditions. Even if Sam does have some fight left in him, there's still the matter of the bindings around his ankles. It'll take time to get his legs free and in that time, their opposition could be inflicting a lot of damage. Not to mention the fact that Dean has failed to make it all the way to standing unsupported ever since his introduction to the handle of Benjamin's glock and is currently on his knees with his hands tied behind his back.
He has to be realistic, if they're getting out of here, the timing is going to have to be perfect. As much as he would love to go all bad-ass on these freaks and teach them not to mess with his little brother, show them the power of Winchester up close and personal, he's going to have to play it cool and wait for a better opportunity.
Adam smiles cold as a crocodile. "Let's see if his brother can persuade him to cooperate. Caleb, break the first finger please, just one and then we'll see how our test subject feels about our request."
Caleb moves in holding a wrench and a pair of pliers, his expression full of cruel anticipation.
Out of the corner of his eye, Dean sees Sam tense slightly and he knows he has to warn his brother to stand down before he escalates the confrontation prematurely, gives away their hand before they can play it properly.
They have a system of code phrases for use in situations just like this one. The trick is to remember which phrase means what and then figure out how to use it in a sentence that sounds natural, not like a code phrase being randomly inserted into cheesy dialogue. Now normally Dean's all about the witty repartee, words flowing fast and easy. He's rarely at a loss for something to say. Unfortunately, the worst migraine in the history of all migraines has embedded barbed tentacles into his temples and he's finding it difficult to come up with a way to use the phrase 'dust in the wind' in a sentence without it sounding incredibly hokey. He may need to rethink his code phrase convention, come up with something easier to mean 'wait for my lead', but for now, he has to work within the established system.
Just as Caleb reaches his side, Dean blurts out, "You better hope I don't live through this, because if I do, I'm going to rip you dicks into so many pieces, all they'll be able to find of you will be dust in the wind."
Lame, and yet, Sam clearly gets the message, tension drains from his neck and shoulders.
"Yer not makin' this any better for yerself, ya know that doncha?" Gideon snickers and digs dirty fingers into the tender flesh of his inner arm right above his bicep.
Lips pulled back in a snarl, Caleb says, "Untie 'is hands and hold 'im still."
Dean's not about to make this easy for them, he bucks backwards, staggers to his feet where he feels less vulnerable, trying to twist out of Frank and Gideon's grasp. It works to delay the inevitable, but in the end, they have him right where they want him, right hand, his gun hand of course, extended and held in vise-like grips while Caleb screws the wrench tight around his index finger close to the knuckle. At that point it becomes counter-productive to struggle as each pull of his hand inflicts damage without Caleb having to do anything more than hold the wrench still.
He finds himself holding his breath, forces himself to breathe. The muscles in his jaw ripple with the force of extreme pressure as he grinds his teeth together. Waiting for this to happen is actually worse than the snap of bone itself. Dean has had broken bones before, but it's always been a surprise, quick and over with before he even knows it's about to happen. He thinks he might go crazy from the expected torture before they even get around to breaking his first finger.
Caleb clamps the pliers neatly around the meaty part of his finger, between two joints, squeezing hard, then jerks sideways sharply.
"Mother fuckers!" Dean gasps through the aftermath of popping bone and searing pain, following up with a string of expletives that would have made even his father blush.
Sam's eyes are closed, unable to witness the mutilation of Dean's hand while pretending to be nearly comatose and, therefore, powerless to stop it, and Dean knows from the flaring nostrils that Sam's not okay with this. His brother stays still, however, waiting for Dean's signal, for now at least.
Benjamin thrusts the bong back under Sam's nose. "Take a hit or we move on to the next finger. Your worthless brother has nine more to go and then we can always move on to his toes."
Hazel eyes crack open slowly, swim for a moment, and then slide over to meet Dean's green, the question written starkly for only Dean to see – 'What should I do?'
Shaking his head Dean chokes. "No, Sammy, no." He pleads with his eyes, 'give me some more time, have faith in me, I can handle this'. Having no idea what Sam's been through so far, what 'tests' have already been done, Dean worries about how he's going to counteract whatever damage was inflicted before he got down here. They definitely don't need anything else added to the mix.
With shaky resolution, Sam turns his head to the side, rejecting Benjamin and the now barely smoking bong.
Caleb sucks air through his front teeth and the sound grates across Dean's already shattered nerves. Glancing askance of Adam, the merciless bastard roughly repositions the wrench around Dean's middle finger on the same hand.
Throbbing agony shoots up his arm from his wounded hand. He attempts to protect himself from further trauma by bringing the appendage close to his torso, but a hard yank of the wrench by Caleb forestalls his efforts and he groans inadvertently.
The pliers move with surgical precision to a joint on the next finger. Stress builds inside him as the pressure on his skin under the pliers increases, metal edges digging into the cartilage and grinding the bones of the joint together. Dean holds his breath, muscles rigid.
Caleb's malevolent voice drawls slowly, "Ready then, boy? On the count of three, one...two..." He waits a couple of seconds, prolonging the suspense. "Three." A quick twist of the wrist accompanies the last word and Dean's hand erupts in flames as the joint is bent backwards.
Air slams into his lungs in a gasp, darkness gathers on the edges of his vision, the world slides nauseatingly underneath him. Dean forces his eyes away from the grotesque shape of his fingers, the white of bone protruding through bleeding flesh. His knees give a little bit and he sags into Frank for a moment. It takes him a few seconds and several steadying breaths before he feels the room solidify around him once again. Something needs to give soon. He's not sure how much more of this he's going to be able to take and the reddish cast to Sam's face tells him, his brother is close to losing the last of his control as well.
Dean sees Sam ease his upper body forward, hands inching down his thighs to his knees, then lower to his calves. Everyone in the room is eagerly watching Dean come apart from the pain and Sam is very cleverly using the diversion to free himself from the restraints. Their captors are sick, psychotic assholes, every single one of them, so it just makes sense that they would be unable to pry their attention away from the scene of another person's misery and humiliation. Dean cheers Sam on in his head as he begins another string of highly inventive cuss words. By insulting each of the hillbillies in turn and questioning the parentage of all their relatives, Dean buys Sam the time he needs to unbuckle the straps and lay them back over his ankles so that it looks like they're still secure.
Sam is back to slouching drunkenly with a bleary half-aware look on his face by the time Benjamin turns to shove the bong and the lighter under his nose again. "Maybe we misjudged you. Doesn't seem like you care about your brother too much after all. Just gonna let him suffer when all you'd have to do to stop it is to inhale? That's pretty damn cold." Benjamin taunts. "He is a bit of a disappointment, isn't he? I mean, all that big talk about how he isn't going to let anyone harm you and now look at him...all bark and no bite if you ask me." The black haired man leans casually into Sam's side, speaking softly as though sharing a confidence, yet loudly enough to make sure that Dean hears every word.
Sam doesn't acknowledge the attempt to rattle him, not even a twitch registers in his empty gaze, but the words slice straight through to Dean's soul and though he narrows his eyes and scowls on the outside, he can't help the flutter of despair that warps his insides, digging deep into his gut. Shit, yeah, that barb cut a little too close to home, battering his inner insecurities and leaving him riddled with self-doubt.
Looking at his expensive sterling silver watch dismissively, Adam states, "That's all right, we have plenty of time to convince our test subject to cooperate." He picks a piece of lint off his suit sleeve. "Frank, how close are we to being ready for the summoning ritual tonight?"
"Everythin's ready fer the summonin' ritual, Mr. Adam." Frank preens under the attention of his boss. "I even found a better bindin' ritual. This time th' beast'll follow commands, make it right easy ta git all the venom we need. I need some help wit th' translation though and then there's th' cage ta ready." He's quick to add, "But we'll still be all set ta go tonight, sir."
"Good, that's real good." A pink tongue darts out of Adam's mouth making him look like a pleased toad who just caught a fat, juicy fly. "In that case, you and Benjamin should return to your work at the alter, continue your preparations. Gideon, see if this young man wants us to stop breaking his brother's fingers." With the wave of his plump hand, Adam gestures toward Sam.
Gideon and Frank move quickly to follow orders, releasing their holds on his arms and the sudden lack of restraint and support cause Dean to stumble forward a step, bringing him that much closer to Caleb, unfortunately, and Sam. He revels in the freedom to move his arms, amazing how such small things can sometimes make him so happy, and swipes the back of his good hand across the cut still dripping blood into his eye, removing as much of the tacky red liquid obscuring his vision as he can.
Gideon accepts the bong from Benjamin and takes a hit off of it himself, ensuring that there's plenty of smoke remaining in the chamber before offering it to Sam with a toss of his head to get the stringy blond hair out of his eyes. "Better take yer chance now while we're still in a good mood. If'n we start ta git impatient, yer brother might end up loosin' 'is fingers instead of just havin'em broken."
Chuckling mirthlessly, Benjamin and Frank cross the space to the closed door on the opposite side of the basement. When they open it, Dean catches a glimpse of a black alter, a dozen or so symbols drawn on the walls and floor in what he hopes is red paint, and a large ornate chalice brimming with an unidentifiable liquid.
A kernel of hope grows inside him. Adam and his gang of entrepreneurs are getting over confident with success seemingly so close at hand. They don't see Dean or Sam as much or an obstacle at this point, if they ever did, and now they're giving Dean the opening he's been waiting for.
The heavy door to the alter room snicks closed and Dean bolts into action, prays that Sam is quick on the uptake, pulls his knife out from behind his back, and stuffs the swell of blinding pain from his head and hand into the background of conscious thought. Mind over matter, sheer will power verses incapacitating injury, the lessons of a lifetime of training come to the forefront once more. 'If you don't think about it, Dean, the pain doesn't exist', his father's command echoes through him, propels him headlong into Caleb's surprised form. He grunts as his shoulder rams into the sturdy man's substantial girth, tackling him to the ground and straddling him with his knife flush against the exposed skin under the large man's jaw.
Sam launches off the hospital bed in one fluid movement, pulling Benjamin's pistol out of the holster on his way past, and the kid's no dummy, he doesn't aim the gun at Benjamin, instead he keeps going until he has one well muscled arm locked around Adam's neck, gun pressed firmly into his temple. He must have been planning that feat for a while now because it's seamless and it happens so fast, the table are flipped so completely, that the three men are outgunned and outmaneuvered before they even have a chance to blink.
"We're leaving now." The deadly intent on Sam's face belies the quiet tone of his voice. "You call for help and you'll wish you hadn't."
"That's right, and you can take your fucking 'disappointment' and stick it up your thoroughly bitten ass." Condescension hangs heavy in the air and Dean smirks while relieving Caleb of the shotgun strapped to his side. The smirk transforms into a grimace once his mutilated fingers touch the cold metal of the gun. He gasps at the freshly triggered wave of agony and only barely manages to not drop the gun by pushing it hastily into the crook of his elbow and releasing his throbbing hand.
Dean stands shakily, leaves Caleb lying on the floor, backs away from the men, and leads the way to the staircase. Sam follows towing Adam, still in a head lock, along with him, using the man's body as a shield and a threat. Muffled squeals can be heard coming from Adam's constricted throat. The two disarmed men left in the basement watch their progress up the stairs, wearing matching expressions of calculating anger.
When they reach the top of the stairs, Sam pushes Adam hard enough to propel the plump man careening down the steps. "Catch." He calls before closing and locking the door to the stairwell. Sounds of outrage erupt from behind the closed door, but it should hold tight for a while.
Dean looks at Sam with a mixture of relief and skepticism. "Why aren't you wasted?"
And sure enough the fire in Sam is fading fast, right before his eyes. The rally appears to be over, eyelids drooping, long legs clumsy as they both stumble down the hall that Dean is fairly certain will take them to the front door of the compound.
"Your hand, Jesus. It's a mess." Sam seems to remember a little belatedly.
"Tell me about it. It fucking hurts like hell, too."
He's really trying hard not to think about his hand actually, or the churning nausea in his stomach, or the intense pounding in his head. Everything starts to weave in and out around him and he's almost startled when they get to their destination, the exit that leads out to the fields and beyond to the forests of the Smoky Mountains. No one else seems to be around. Dean can't be bothered to worry much about where the other two hillbillies might be, probably out taking care of the crops.
At some point along their way down the hall, Sam had begun to lean on Dean without Dean taking much notice of it, however he can't help but realize he's mostly supporting his gangly brother when he tries to open the door while juggling said brother, Caleb's confiscated shotgun and his knife, all with only one functioning hand.
"A little help here, Sam." Getting no reply, Dean grumbles. "Let's get you out of here and find the antidote I stashed out in the woods."
He props Sam up against the wall, slides his knife into his boot, and exchanges the shotgun for the pistol Sam still holds loosely in lax fingers. The pistol fits snug into his waistband at the small of his back. Having freed up his hands, Dean opens the door and peers out, then pulls Sam off the wall, one arm slung over his shoulder. "One foot in front of the other, gigantor, come on. We can do this." He huffs.
Cinching his brother close, he angles toward the edge of the field where he remembers entering the clearing. Time seems to ebb and flow in random spurts and sprints. There's a tightening band around his chest, making it difficult to catch his breath and he wonders it they're going to make it to the antidote before his wavering vision gives out completely. The pain in his head is fighting the pain in his hand for top billing.
He zones out for a while, walking with his eyes mostly closed, trusting some sixth sense to let him know when to stop. Abruptly, they're there. Dean yanks the strap of his backpack out from under the concealing bush. It only takes a moment to find the syringe and inject the anti-venom into one of Sam's veins and his eyes immediately begin to clear. It's like turning a dimmer switch from low to high or like watching muddy water run clean and transparent.
Exhaustion creeps up on him while he's standing next to his brother, waiting for full recovery. He knows he's not getting enough air and his lungs are burning, but he can't decide what he needs to do about that. His legs start to feel wobbly and there's something he's supposed to be doing, so he locks his knees to prevent himself from sitting down. Shooting stars collide in the sky, his eyes slide closed.
The next thing Dean is conscious of is the feel of something warm pressing against his cheek, arms wrapped around him, holding him up. He hears a voice, Sam's voice, a low murmur in his ear. The words flow around him, soft like a blanket, and he relaxes into it even though he knows he shouldn't.
"Hey, hey, take it easy. I've gotcha. You're all right." Reassurances given in Sam's most calming tone, the one he reserves for when he's afraid Dean's about to go into shock from blood loss or for a small child who has just witnessed something bone-chillingly spooky and is getting ready to bolt.
"What's up with the hug, Sammy?" He tries for an intimidating snarl, yet what comes out is a barely audible slur. Not enough to convince anyone, and especially not his surprisingly emo little brother, that he's currently capable of moving from this spot.
"Right, I'm hugging you. You're the one who leaned into me and put your head on my shoulder, man. I was just trying to keep you from falling over and hitting your head...your already concussed head." Sam tightens his grip as though Dean might try to escape before he's ready.
Dean recognizes Sam's attempt at levity and he appreciates it even as he searches for a cocky response and comes up with zilch. His brain feels as though it has liquified and is sloshing around inside his skull. He needs to push Sam away, but he doesn't only because he can't seem to find the strength, not because it feels so damn good to let someone else carry the weight of family responsibility for a little while, to feel like someone cares about him for a change.
"No way, dude. I don't do hugs." Dean puts every ounce of assertiveness he has left into the statement, cringing when he still sounds breathless, unable to attain the volume he wants to project.
"Yeah, I know you don't. None of that girly shit for you." Sam sounds amused. "Now sit down before you collapse."
Sighing heavily, Dean lets his brother lower him to the soggy ground. "We can't stay here, Sam. Now that you're playing with a full deck again, we have to go back in there and destroy the alter, stop them from summoning another one of those stingy-bear creatures."
"No, you need to rest first. Dean, you were shaking so hard I thought you were having a seizure , your face turned white as a sheet, you were about two seconds from face planting." At the argumentative look on Dean's face, Sam continues, "And besides, those assholes can't summon another 'stingy-bear creature' until nightfall, so we have time for both of us to recuperate before going back in there."
Dean knows he's being manipulated, he's got a concussion, he's not stupid. Still, it's too much of a temptation to deny the out his brother is giving him. "Fine, we'll wait until the sun goes down before going back in."
( The Dope that we Smoke Chapter 6 )
A/N: The names of the hillbillies come from a musical. Did anyone catch which one?
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