Rating: R (language, violence)
Length: under 30K total; this chapter, 983 words
Spoilers: through the end of Season Four
Summary: What if Sam and Dean knew one crucial piece of information about the future before Dean's deal came due? Would it have changed everything, or would the end result have been the same? AU version of Season Four, written for spn_30snapshots .
Master table is here. Prompt for this chapter: morning.
13. Morning Has Broken
"Dean, take her and go."
"Sam, you can't—"
"Listen to me!" Sam hissed. "Something's coming; I can feel it. It's bigger than the typical demon, and there's no other reason for it to be here." He meaningfully cast his eyes in the direction of the woman standing behind Dean, her hair gleaming red-gold in the late morning rays shining through the stained-glass window.
Dean's eyes narrowed. "What do you mean, you can feel it?"
Sam all but rolled his eyes. "I have the knife. I can do this. Get Anna out of here!"
The old Dean would have argued, would have insisted on taking his role as defender of the innocent and of Sam. But ever since his blunt confession in Concrete, the Dean who had been beside him in the Impala and the usual shabby hotel rooms was not the same man.
This Dean actually deferred to Sam, grabbing Anna by the arm and ushering her behind an old piano near the lone doorway. That left Sam to draw the demon-killing knife and crouch out of sight of the door.
The man who entered the room looked harmless enough: a distinguished-looking guy in a suit who looked carefully around, taking in the entire attic space. But to Sam, he felt…wrong.
More to the point, he made Sam feel wrong, the same sensation of something crawling under his skin that he'd felt when Samhain was attacking him now swarming through his veins. It was almost a buzzing, like something was vibrating inside him.
Whatever it was, it enabled the demon's head to turn right towards him. "Sam Winchester," he said, starting forward. "It's nice to finally meet you. I've heard so much about you."
He slowly stood up, the knife held behind his thigh, heart pounding. "I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage."
The man's smile curled his lips in a way that made Sam think of something rotting. "So polite," he said in an oily tone. "So unlike your brother."
Sam took a step back, trying to draw the demon further in. "Yeah, Dean's not big on etiquette," he half-laughed.
The demon came closer, his back now to Dean and Anna where they crouched behind the piano. "Obviously not, or he would be introducing us."
Sam's blood ran cold. "He's not here," he said, standing straighter and tightening his grip on the knife.
"Of course he is," the man gently mocked in his aristocratic accent. "We were together for so long, it's almost like—" He broke off and tilted his head upwards. "Like I can scent him in the air."
"You're Alastair," Sam bit out, cold certainty rocketing through him.
"Ah, he has told you about me? Excellent." Alastair rubbed his hands together and came forward. "He did so enjoy his time with me."
"You son of a bitch," Sam growled. The buzzing under his skin was louder now, blending with the anger throbbing through him, making his vision dim around the edges as he came nearer.
Alastair lifted a hand, and Sam stopped as abruptly as if he'd run into a wall. Behind the demon, Anna was heading towards the exit, Dean's hand on her back pushing her along. Sam kept his eyes trained on the demon in front of him, flexing his fingers around the handle of the knife, searching for a break in the invisible barrier in front of him.
"How much did he tell you?" Alastair asked, taking another step towards Sam. "Dean's so modest, as I'm sure you know. Probably didn't give you too many details about how…proud he made me."
"Shut up," Sam snapped. He could feel his blood pumping, not just the beat of his heart but the actual throb of liquid through his veins, and it was just about the freakiest thing he'd ever felt.
"Your brother is really quite inventive," Alastair continued. "He did things with a knife that I've never seen before, and that takes some doing. I wonder how you'd perform in the same situation, given the…advantage that your blood gives you." He was only a few yards away, eyes gleaming malevolently as he went on, "Tell me, does that come from your father's side or your mother's?"
With a cry, Sam broke free, bringing up the knife as he lunged forward. He sank the blade into Alastair's shoulder and stepped back, watching Dean duck out the door as soon as the demon was vanquished.
Except that he wasn't vanquished.
Alastair was obviously in pain, but he was reaching for his shoulder and pulling out the knife, decidedly not vanishing in a flicker of orange light. Sam's eyes went wide, and he looked frantically around for another way out of the room. Dean thought he had won and wouldn't be coming back, not that there was much he could do anyway. Sam had no other weapons, and there was no way this guy was going to let him go.
"You'll have to try harder than that, Sam," Alastair snarled, brandishing the bloody knife as he came forward. "Come on, I know you have it in you."
It took Sam only a fraction of a second to turn and race towards the window behind him. It took a fraction of a second more to crash through it, arms over his face as glass shattered around him, waiting to feel the knife sinking into his back or a jolt of demonic power stopping him in his tracks.
Instead, he fell to the ground two stories below, glass slicing through him in a hundred places, cutting almost as deeply as the demon's words. He hoped Dean had gotten out before hearing Alastair's taunts, or he'd be sinking down even further into the morass he was already in.
Even though it was nearly noon, the sun was chill on Sam's lacerated face as he hauled himself to his feet and stumbled away.