CATEGORY: Angst, Drama
TABLE FIC PROMPT: #017: Fear
WARNINGS: Violence, References to Child Abuse (Physical)
AUTHOR’S NOTES: This story contains scenes that may be disturbing to some readers due to the issue covered within, so please read at your own risk. This story serves as a response to a table fic prompt from the LiveJournal community 50_darkfics.
For those interested, I wrote this story several times and in several different ways before I settled on Sam’s point of view. After writing the story and in the midst of the editing process I decided to write the same scene from Dean’s perspective and decided to post it as well. I’m still editing that one, but there will eventually be a companion piece to this one titled “Ashes”.
Those words, those two simple words could always stir such fear in me because I always knew what they meant, what would follow: ‘Run to the bathroom, lock the door and don’t come out until I tell you,’ in other words Dean once again sacrificing himself to protect me.
Small hotel rooms, you see, don’t contain many hiding places there’s the beds, the table, the television, a sink, a closet and a bathroom. Only one of those is safe because it contains a lock, one that can lock someone in and keep others out, so as soon as Dean would utter those words I’d immediately run for the bathroom. If he tried to stop me Dean would lash out at him fighting as long as he was able until he was certain I was out of harm’s way.
Once in that bathroom I’d lock the door, slide down it and curl inward upon myself. I’d press my ear against the door and listen my breath coming in harsh panicked gasps, my body trembling, tears rolling down my cheeks as I heard the first yelp of pain and recognized it as Dean’s. Upon hearing that first utterance I automatically wanted to cover my ears, make myself as small as possible and block it all out. I’d start to lift my hands to do just that, but they never made it that far. One would settle against the door the other I’d wrap around myself caught in indecision. I’d feel the overwhelming need to run to Dean’s aid but was too afraid, plus a long time ago I had made a promise to stay put no matter what, so I refused to move even when I heard a loud crack echo to me from the other side.
The crack was quickly followed by sounds of a struggle, and I automatically clenched my eyes shut trying to block out the frightful images that filled my mind. I had to bite back my fear nearly whimpering upon hearing dad’s muffled voice. In the next instant I heard a loud bang, felt it, felt how the door buckled inward from the impact but the lock held fast while Dean cried out. I found myself suddenly staring at the door as if it were some kind of monster then hesitantly pressed my ear against it again. I knew that Dean was no doubt pinned to the other side of it so splaying my fingers across the rough wooden surface I closed my eyes and prayed. It wasn’t long before my ears picked up sharp shaky inhalations of breath traveling through the door to me. Dean. I knew it was Dean. I concentrated straining to hear more while willing Dean the strength he would no doubt need to make it through this. For a moment I was certain I could feel the heat from his body through the door itself and relaxed slightly only to tense further when I heard the desperate, “Please, dad, stop,” that escaped next.
Within moments the door buckled again creaking on its hinges as a body impacted a second time. I wanted to run to the opposite side of the room but felt Dean needed me to stay right where I was. I heard the coughing that followed the impact and dad barking an order at Dean before an unnaturally loud crash resounded through the door: the sound of a chair toppling to the floor, breaking apart. Next I heard frantic movements and pain-laced gasps as Dean no doubt scrambled away from our father. Hearing footsteps I drew in a shaky breath and held it waiting, listening and trying to figure out what was happening beyond my temporary solace.
I lifted my head to the ceiling my body shaking violently as I tightened my arm around me and pressed my other hand so firmly against the door that my knuckles were turning white. I could feel moisture on my cheeks, my fear so potent it felt like a vise was squeezing around my heart. I wanted to run away, to hide where no one would ever find me. I wanted to forget what was happening outside the door, to disappear, but my fear for Dean held me there steadfast and strong.
As Dean’s voice rang out again I began to mutter, a prayer, a plea like a mantra wanting nothing more than to yank open the door and run to his side, but Dean had made me promise not to come out. Surrendering to more tears I began to rock slightly, and as I heard dad’s muffled commanding voice through the door yet again I found myself praying that Dean would soon lose consciousness. If that happened then dad would stop. He’d leave us and it would be just Dean and I once more.
“Get up, son!”
The voice made me jump and my eyes shot open so quickly that my heart began racing. Drawing in a calming breath I pushed my ear tighter against the door listening closely for Dean’s voice, a movement, any sound that would indicate that Dean was still aware. I held my breath and relief started to slowly settle in as I felt certain he was now unconscious. I waited for the sound of dad storming out the door, listened for the sound of the Impala rumbling to life thankful that it was almost over, that Dean would soon be safe again.
At the sickening sound of skin impacting skin I heard Dean releasing a choked garbled cry of pain and felt all my hopes being dashed away as dad’s voice boomed, “I said get up, boy, that’s a direct order!”
Apparently Dean was lying on the floor refusing to get up or unable to. I listened with bated breath for any further sounds hearing Dean begin to wheeze as another sickly sound of impact echoed to me. It was followed by more gasping interspersed with coughing. As the next strike occurred Dean released a shaky choked scream of pain that had my heart leaping into my throat. Dean didn’t scream and never like that unless he was seriously hurt. I heard movement next followed by dad snarling, “You listen to me, boy, when I give a command you obey without question!”
A weak ‘dad’ was Dean’s only response proceeded by several loud sharp cracks, which were no doubt punches or slaps aimed directly at his face, before a final shaky pain-laced cry rent the air and all fell blessedly silent. I tried to figure out what the hell was happening soon getting my answer in the sudden soft utterances of “Dean, Dean, son, look at me. Open your eyes. Look at me. DEAN!” that I could hear echoing to me through the bathroom door.
I could no longer remain where I was. Hearing the sudden fear in dad’s voice, I yanked open the bathroom door and ran into the room. I saw dad, and then I saw Dean limp in his arms blood running freely from his mouth and nose. Fear halted me, freezing me to the spot. I stared agape at the scene before me uttering Dean’s name louder than I realized for it drew dad’s attention to me, and what I saw there nearly made me collapse on the spot. I opened my mouth again but couldn’t do anything except fish for words. Dad’s voice took on a nervous edge as he managed, “Sammy, come over here, NOW!”
I moved but my legs felt like lead, my eyes fixed on Dean’s inert form lying in dad’s arms. I managed a quiet, “Is he…?” that dad immediately silenced with a sharp, “No, Sammy, no. He’s resting. He’s just resting,” but his voice was shaking and he didn’t sound very convincing. I was at Dean’s side lowering beside him instantly before reaching out to gently cup his face. As I did so I could feel his warm breath against my hand and nearly collapsed with relief managing, “He’s unconscious, dad. He’s just unconscious not…”
“I almost, I…”
Shaking his head dad literally shoved Dean at me ordering me to take care of him. He stood up as soon as I accepted the heavy burden that was a fully unconscious Dean and I snapped, “You’re leaving?”
Dad’s hands fisted at his sides anger resurging in the fiery depths of his eyes as he snapped, “Don’t talk back to me, son!”
“Dad you can’t…”
Leave us…is what I wanted to say, but I never got the chance. Dad turned on me instantly lashing out with words, glowering at me, facing off with me as if daring me to challenge him before snarling, “All right you little smart ass…”
I had no time to react, and dad had no time to make a move as Dean’s voice cut through the thick air like a machete. Instantly he was awake struggling to arise, his eyes focusing on me before turning to look up at dad. The fear in them shocked me to my damned core, and I found myself gaping at Dean as he fought to get to his feet, no doubt in a feeble attempt to protect me. His eyes were now solely focused on dad and he was speaking struggling to tell dad no before managing, “Sammy told…told you to stay in the bathroom. Get… Get out of here before he…”
Our dad’s eyes sparked with raw anger as he snarled, “Before I what, Dean?” and Dean immediately attempted to placate him, softening his voice as he requested, “Dad, please…” all the while struggling to breathe normally.
I saw dad’s hands reach out then as if to lash at or grab Dean, and I saw Dean gritting his teeth, heard him crying out as he managed to rise enough to push me awkwardly under him. It was then that I felt Dean’s body settle on top of me and nearly panicked as I heard a ragged growl turn quickly into a hiss of pain as he settled between us.
The next scream was choked as Dean cried out loudly. I could feel moisture against my head where he had his pressed and the vibration of the impact as it traveled through Dean’s body to jar painfully into mine. Whatever the hell dad hit Dean with was blunt and the strikes were anything but gentle. As a second scream was torn, rested from the lips of one who refused to lend voice to it unless he could no longer hold it in check, I felt true fear settle within me. Again the vibration of the cruel strike traveled through Dean into me jarring me so much it nearly stole my breath away leaving me wondering briefly if it hurt me that much a ricochet blow softened by Dean’s body wedged between me and it, then just how much had it hurt Dean?
I forced my eyes open gazing awkwardly at Dean’s left arm now braced so near my head. He was actually lifting himself up trying to diminish the transfer of the strike by taking as much of it as he could. His legs still pinned me beneath him his hips pressed tightly against mine effectively keeping me immobile beneath him almost as if he knew to completely remove his pressing weight off of me would give me the advantage I would need to reverse our positions placing me in a protective stance over him. He knew I’d do it in a heartbeat and so he kept me pinned as much as he could to prevent the reversal.
As another strike rained down across Dean’s back I could see his struggle. His arms gave out on him and he fell on top of me gritting his teeth as he again forced shaky arms under him refusing to allow any more pain to transfer to me. It was a losing battle for Dean’s concentration was shot to hell. His eyes were nearly at the back of his skull having just come to several moments ago only to be faced again with more abuse. I should have never left the bathroom. If I hadn’t Dean wouldn’t be sacrificing so much to ensure I not get harmed. I felt like an ass.
“No, Sam, don’t please.”
It was whispered so near my ear as if Dean had read my damned mind. All I could manage was a soft, “Dean…” before fear slammed into me further burying into my very soul as Dean fumbled. His arm went out from under him, his eyes beginning to roll back in his head and for a moment I thought he was going to pass out, but he surprised me by shaking his head, forcing his now shaky arms under him again and focusing intently on me. It was then that I was reminded of just how far Dean was willing to go to protect me.
The next strike had him shouting out and arching his back as pain reverberated through him. I could see his teeth clenched, arms thoroughly shaking as he held himself upright on hands now balled tightly into fists. The strike had been cruel and extremely painful. As I focused on Dean he gritted his teeth harshly answering my unvoiced question “Lower back, Sammy…”
The strike had landed on his lower back and from the way he still remained uncomfortably arched I knew it was one of the most brutal strikes yet, probably uncontrolled, which meant dad was getting reckless. It was then that I heard the pounding, loud and insistent. I jumped, Dean jumped, and dad cursed. I felt relieved, as if the momentary distraction was a God-send. Dean’s screams had no doubt been heard by other patrons and they had filed a complaint, which meant the beating would hopefully stop.
As I focused on dad I could see the anger in him. He snarled before lowering beside Dean glaring at him menacingly before growling, “If they heard you…”
Swallowing hard I saw Dean pale considerably but dad was already up and on his way to the door. It was then that I knew we had to move. I had to get us to safety before dad came back to finish the job. Fueled by my increasing fear I managed a soft order of, “Up Dean, now,” that had him gazing at me in confusion. Without hesitation and seeing that Dean was fast fading I quietly urged, “The bathroom now, Dean. Please!”
Before he could tell me he didn’t think he would make it that far I harshly snapped, “Yes you can, Dean. Now’s our chance, come on.”
“You know they’re here to complain, and you know why. We have to get behind that door. If we don’t…he’ll, he’ll kill you, Dean. He will. He’s too mad and he’ll… Please let’s go!”
Nodding Dean tried to rise gazing towards dad seeing that he had stepped outside, no doubt to obstruct the views of the people spying. Dean no sooner stood up, and he was collapsing. I braced him around the waist grunting as I bore most of Dean’s weight, my small legs nearly giving way. It took only moments before Dean realized what was happening and managed to force his own legs under him before steering us shakily towards the bathroom. We moved as one trying to make it to safety before dad realized what we were doing. It felt like hours before our hands grasped the familiar frame of the door. Once inside I pulled the door shut turning to Dean and jumping as dad snapped, “Oh no you don’t you little shits!”
Dean’s gaze settled on the door before locking with mine in alarm. As I followed his gaze I noticed that the lock hadn’t yet been thrown. Jumping I dove for the lock and quickly twisted it into place crying out in surprise when I heard dad slam into the door. The door creaked and rattled dangerously on its hinges buckling beneath the impact. Not knowing what else to do I focused my attention on helping Dean to the furthest corner of the tiny bathroom and lowered us to the floor. Once settled I immediately wrapped my arms around Dean jumping when he winced. Afraid I hurt him I tried loosening my grip, but Dean stopped me by wrapping his own arms tightly around me.
Together we sat on that hard floor, leaning against the wall, wedged between the sink and the bathtub. Both of us exhausted and afraid, waiting for morning, while Dean’s painful breaths filled my ears and my terrified ones filled his.
** The End **
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