Yuletide rec: Teenage Suicide: Not the Worst Idea Ever: What if failing at suicide gave Ram a brain and Kurt a soul? (Heathers)
(Gossip Girl/BtVS) After law school, a bored Blair Waldorf ditches the UES merry-go-round for a job with the FBI/CIA/NSS pick-your-mysterious-law-enforcement agency. Her new partner? Faith Lehane. I would also be grateful for any mention of Chuck--a cameo would be awesome but just an update on what he's doing several years down the road from now would be great.
“What did you say your degree was in again?” Blair asked suspiciously.
Faith adjusted her shoulder holster, which had the advantage for her of pushing her breasts out, and not that Blair cared or anything but it sucked that Blair was not going to be the hot one, again. “Ass-kicking. NSA ain’t the Bureau, honey. They take all kinds.”
Blair sniffed, because that much was obvious. “Well, try to keep your boots on the ground unless I say so. We’re not going to get anywhere with Golchov if we go in guns blazing.”
Faith gave her a flat look. “I can do the job.”
This was not what Blair had expected from her interagency assignment, but Golchov was important enough that it was a real opportunity for advancement, and if Faith behaved she could be helpful. Men were slow to notice just how dangerous a good-looking woman could be.
Case in point: when she took Faith to her meeting with Chuck (not because she needed a buffer, just because they’d have to meet sometime and she might as well be in control of the circumstances), Chuck leered in a way that made Blair want to reach for her service weapon. There’d be some satisfaction in shoving Chuck up against a wall and pressing the muzzle so hard into his skin that he’d wear the bruise for a week.
“What can I do for such special agents?” he asked after Blair introduced Faith. With his back to his view, he was framed against the New York skyline in a way Blair would never admit she’d seen in a dozen business profiles.
Blair rolled her eyes. “You’re in negotiations with Dmitri Golchov to finance your latest construction project. We need an introduction—and not as feds.”
Chuck steepled his fingers and leaned back in his chair, James Bond-villain-style. “I’m not Bruce Wayne,” he said, raising an eyebrow. “I don’t help out the forces of law and order while running my empire.”
“You’re not suave enough to be Batman,” Blair told him. Faith just kept her arms crossed and her right ankle over her left knee, every slumped inch of her conveying skeptical resignation. “Don’t tell me you couldn’t use a friend in the Bureau.”
“I can buy all the friends I need,” Chuck said, but it was just jousting. “Seven years at Yale and this is what you do with it?”
Blair gave him her tiniest, most mysterious smile. “Some of us like to stretch ourselves.”
“I’ll bet.” Chuck made the words sound as pornographic as the centerfold in Hustler, his eyes moving between her and Faith so as to leave no doubt of what he was imagining.
“Chuck, right?” Faith swung her leg down and leaned forward.
Chuck’s too-lush mouth tightened. “Actually, I—”
Faith ignored him. “Listen, Chuckles, you may be a frickin’ millionaire, but Gorchov’s a gangster. He likes to burn people alive. That’s just for kicks. When they piss him off, he has some fun first. Now, Ivy League here and I can keep him from bringing his poison to this country, but you’re gonna have to play ball.”
Chuck looked like he wanted to smack her, or at least heave one of his crystal paperweights through his fancy glass desk.
Instead, he turned to Blair. “And what, exactly, could I expect in return?”
She could have told him that this wasn’t a move in their long game, but that would have been a worse lie than most. There were others she could have approached for an introduction to Gorchov. Going to Chuck was simply efficient, given that she was going to be seeing a lot of him in the near future. She tilted her head a fraction. “I suppose we’ll have to work something out.”
Much, much later, when she and Faith were sitting exhausted on the floor of the destroyed hotel room across from one another, she watched Faith pull a silver flask from somewhere and take a long swig. Faith waved it at her inquiringly and she shook her head. She’d need to write the report carefully, and soon.
“That was pretty good work,” Faith said, like she hadn’t meant to admit it.
Blair shrugged, stretching her back out against the wall, cool against her skin. Her hair was a mess, and before the cleanup team arrived she needed five minutes with a mirror, but not yet. “First rule is: figure out what your enemy values and put it at risk. Gorchov had a picture of his little girl in his wallet. It was the only personal item he carried. The threat of losing her was the best leverage we had.”
Faith smiled. Somehow her lipstick was still intact, and her lips shone like candy apples. “I thought the first rule was, always bring a bigger knife than the other guy.”
“There are all kinds of knives.”
Faith considered this, then nodded. “So, want to learn how to throw one?”
Blair opened her mouth to refuse, but what came out was, “So you don’t think I’m totally useless?”
Faith pulled out a blade longer than Blair’s hand—seriously, where did she store this stuff, it was creepy and a little bit sexy, which thought Blair would deny past her grave—and tossed it up in the air, catching it by the handle. “I’m starting to think you could get non-useless.”
That shouldn’t have warmed her. But then, most of the best parts of her life so far had come from ignoring ‘shouldn’t.’ Blair didn’t smile, but she let her expression soften. “And I’m starting to think you aren’t just a supermodel with a black belt.” Someday soon, they’d have to talk about just exactly how strong Faith was, and how many people knew about her special abilities, but all that could wait until Blair knew a little bit more. The kind of power Blair hoped to exercise would involve a lot of different levers, after all, so she could be flexible.
(SPN) Pamela, colors and/or meeting old friends
Most people are somewhere on the spectrum between yellow and blue. Many psychics call it an aura (and plenty of frauds do too, probably more frauds than genuine psychics), but that’s not actually right. It’s part of the person, taking up no more space than they do, not some halo or emanation. When she tried to explain it to her mama, all she got was confusion: if they’re yellow, how can you tell what color shirt they’re wearing? Which was like asking, how can you look at someone and hear them at the same time? You just do. Different senses.
Now that she’s blind, people are extremely hard to look at, which is not as funny as it sounds. Without her mortal sight, all she has is the aura, so people are like flickering candles in the overall darkness, or infrared heat signatures using night-vision goggles, except that they aren’t like either of those things. For the first time, her power feels uncanny, twisting in her throat, no longer a natural part of herself like her love of dark beer and big dogs.
But newly-blind girls who never got past high school don’t exactly have recruiters knocking down the door to give them well-paying jobs, so she keeps doing her readings. And she smiles, because the world is still full of dark beer and big dogs, and all the other things that make life worth living.
When Dean Winchester returns for her help, she’s willing to try as long as that angel stays well away from her. Dean is sunshine, molten gold, except that he is shot through with pulsing red and black lines, like capillaries running through him. She’s never seen it on anyone else and can only guess that it comes from his resurrection. The scar on his shoulder is—it’s negative space, not there, so profoundly absent that she tries not to look at it, but of course without eyes that’s not so easy.
Brother Sam is as well-shaped as ever. And if he’s gone a darker violet since she’s seen him last, well, that’s none of her business. There’s no danger to her in him. The demon girl, she’s a flickering rainbow, all colors at once and then pulsing back to black. Her body and her shape are different. If Pam stopped to pay attention, it might make her queasy.
But Anna—now, Anna just looks like a normal girl, pale blue darkening to a purer, early-evening-sky color at the center. If she weren’t being chased by angels and demons, Pam wouldn’t stop to look at her twice. (Nor would Dean, unless she misses her guess.)
So after Anna drops her bombshell, feathers and fear flying everywhere, Pam skedaddles.
What she could see in Anna was not what was true.
For the first time, she wishes that Castiel had taken the other sight instead.
Chuck versus the Taste of Leather
“Whoa,” Chuck said. Sarah and Casey turned, and Chuck gestured at the welcome basket waiting on their bed. Except that instead of the fruit and flowers that a normal vacation retreat would have provided, this welcome basket had a colorful assortment of lube, two whips jauntily crossed so that their handles provided a nice backdrop for the rest of it, four different sizes of dildos, two things Chuck thought were vibrators, and a roll of what looked like latex tape.
Casey glanced at the basket, evidently determined that it was no threat, and turned his bored expression back to the door, guarding it while Sarah continued to search the room. Among the things that were unfair about Chuck’s life was that Casey seemed perfectly comfortable wearing just a leather jacket’s worth of leather, unevenly distributed around his extremely muscular body. Casey didn’t even look bad in the BuyMore uniform, which was a miracle in itself, but right now he looked like he’d stepped out of Tom of Finland’s sketchbook, discarded only because of how pissed-off his expression was.
“Stop staring at me and start doing your job,” Casey growled. Chuck swallowed. At least watching Casey drove most thoughts about his own outfit out of his mind. They’d all agreed that Chuck couldn’t pull off the full black straps-and-grommets that Casey was sporting. He’d be too embarrassed to walk, much less spy. So he’d ended up with just a leather collar with a large ring in front, on top of a too-tight T-shirt and jeans that seemed to have shrunk while they’d been in transit. Sarah said the collar was symbolic, but it felt like a lot more than a symbol as it pressed against his throat.
Sarah hadn’t given the all-clear sign, so he didn’t ask again how come Sarah got to be the mistress—ooh, not a word he ought to be thinking in these jeans. He knew the answer, anyway. “Slaves” were supposed to be ignored when they weren’t in use, which meant that Chuck should more easily be able to look for clues to the location of the hidden blueprints, and Casey would be able to follow him around, protecting him. (Protecting him from what, he now wondered; possibly this was a question that should have been asked earlier.) Meanwhile, Sarah would be interacting with the other owners, building up their story about the relaxation pastimes of a busy executive and her two extremely dedicated … men.
“It’s very nice,” Sarah said, her voice just a little edged. “Charles, you will go out and familiarize yourself with this place. I want you to be able to point me to every amenity by the time dinner is served. John, you will follow Charles and make sure that he behaves.” Well, that meant they were definitely being overheard.
Chuck swallowed again—damn, that felt weird, and a little bit good, which Chuck was not going to think about—and nodded, then remembered himself.
“Yes, mistress,” he said, echoed by Casey.
This, he thought, was not going to be one of the easier assignments.
(SV/JLU) You've got somebody pulling Monitor Duty. Alert comes up that a League member is battling somebody. I suppose they watch stuff like this so they can send in backup if it becomes necessary. Anyway there's a fight and, while it's never really in doubt that the Leaguer will win the outfits are getting torn, there's a lot of sweating and grunting going on...
Note: details vary!
“Hey,” Kara said, “what’s Lex Luthor doing in that suit?”
Flash looked at the monitor nearest Supergirl. He’d finished his shift, but Kara and Black Canary were next on duty, and he never minded having his post-work snacks in the company of two beautiful ladies. Anyway, monitor duty was new enough to everyone that he might pick up a few tips from them about how not to get bored out of his noggin while cycling through the camera views.
Sure enough, onscreen was Lex Luthor, in a gigantic purple powersuit, advancing on Superman with the air of a man about to take out the trash.
“Uh-oh,” Flash said. If there was anything he’d learned in the past few years, it was that Lex Luthor plus Superman equalled enormous explosion. He hit the button to contact the control tower. “WW, can you get down here?”
Wonder Woman arrived within minutes. The set of her mouth said that she was trying not to remind Flash that they’d spoken several times about ‘WW’ and why it was not appropriate to nickname one’s Justice League compatriots.
By that time, Superman and Luthor were really into it, whaling on one another with what Flash could only describe as glee. Luthor slung Superman through the second floor of a building—seriously through, busting structural elements bam-bam-bam and out the other side in a shower of glass. Superman flew back and smacked Luthor’s suit so hard it ended up embedded four feet into a mound of earth at a construction site across the street.
“Should we go down there and help?” Kara asked. Flash ate his donut and took a quick run for another dozen, just in case he needed the energy. He got back before Wonder Woman had opened her mouth to answer.
“No,” she said, which Flash had basically expected. The Big Guy preferred to deal with Luthor on his own, and he was balanced enough—not like some, naming no names—to call for help if he actually needed it. Then she rocked Flash’s world: “They do this every couple of months. Luthor attempts a physical assault; they fight; at some point Superman gets knocked over and loses his clothes; the fight ends.”
“Excuse me?” Flash said, sticking his finger into his ear to check for any blockage. “Because I thought you said—”
“Possibly it is a Kryptonian mating ritual,” she continued thoughtfully, “though I have never asked.”
“Uh, that’d be a no,” Kara volunteered. “Loses his clothes? This fabric’s supposed to stand up to black holes!”
Wonder Woman shrugged. “Luthor is extremely intelligent.”
“And apparently highly motivated!” Black Canary put in. “I just have to—step out for a minute.”
She returned with Big Barda and Crimson Fox. By this time, Superman’s cape had been lost in a maneuver that involved two trucks and a Vespa, and one of Luthor’s mechanical legs was dragging.
Crimson Fox pulled out her cellphone and started texting.
Gypsy, Vixen, and Huntress were the next to arrive, just before Luthor almost managed to get his enhanced hands around Superman’s throat. He missed and grabbed the collar of the uniform, and it ripped away, leaving Luthor with the ‘S’ in his hand as Superman retreated and regained his balance.
Obsidian, Katma Tui, Zatanna, and Stargirl were next. The Monitor Room was starting to get crowded, Flash thought, and the looks on the women’s faces were more than a little disturbing. On the other hand, hot women getting hot. He could deal with being crowded.
Superman rose from the remains of the building and began to stalk forward. A tear had opened up across his right thigh, and also he’d apparently broken through a water pipe or two, so water was dripping off him. As Flash watched, a bead broke from his spit curl and trickled down his cheek, plopping onto his exposed collarbone.
There was a collective sigh.
“It’s really a shame Luthor’s suit isn’t see-through,” Fire said. When had she come in? Also, ew. Flash totally hadn’t needed to hear the rumble of agreement, soprano and alto, all around him.
“Not a problem,” Zatanna said. “Tnerapsnart!”
They were quiet for a bit after that. Luthor got spine-ripping mad when his purple went clear; the protective bodysuit he had on underneath made it pretty obvious that he dressed to the left, among other things. The two of them seriously got into it then, wrestling as if they’d forgotten the finer points of superpowers and determined just to bash each other’s heads in.
Bashing each other’s heads in seemed to require a lot of full-body contact, even with the remnants of Lex’s powersuit in the way.
“Does Batman know about this?” Ice asked.
“And can we get him to join in?” Kara added.
Wonder Woman, predictably, ignored the second question. “He does, though it’s my understanding he prefers to watch from the Batcave.”
“Okay!” Flash said, before he could have his brain more destroyed than it had already been. “My cue to leave!”
He’d known that most of his fellow superheroes were crazy. What kind of person dresses up in a funny suit to fight other folks in funny suits? Other than clowns, that was. Anyway, yes: crazy. But this was a whole new level of WTF, and he wasn’t sure whether the bigger problem was Luthor or the hitherto undiscovered lasciviousness of his female colleagues. What if they were looking at him that way? What if they weren’t?
He’d better go talk to GL about the problem. GL probably wasn’t sleeping anyway.
Flash zipped out. He was pretty sure his absence would go unnoticed.
My Own Worst Enemy: On the bright side, he finally understands Edward. Note: OMG this was the hardest. Possibly harder than Yuletide.
From the beginning (if it wasn’t the middle), he’d always thought of Edward as an incomprehensible force of nature, like the Leviathan in the Bible, the one God used to whap Job around with. Edward was concentrated want-take-kill, and it wasn’t even because Edward only had half as much time awake as the rest of the world. Edward was just that intense. He has the sense that Edward volunteered for the chip not just out of patriotism but also because it was the one way he could spend downtime not hunting and beating bad guys without feeling like a layabout.
It had taken a long time for the people at the agency to treat him with the same confidence they had in Edward. He understood why; no one ever had to remind him of the multiple disasters that marked his earliest exploits, back when the terms of his relationship with Edward were so unclear. But it was better now.
“Here’s your equipment, Mr. Spivey,” the latest tech says. He’s learned that it’s a mistake to get to know the techs too well. The attrition rate is high, and there is only so much affection in a person. He has a lot—well, a lot more than Edward—but even he can run dry eventually. So he smiles politely, thanks the young woman, and gears up.
Mavis is nervous today. It’s not easy to read her, but he pays very careful attention, and her hand is just fractionally tighter around the head of her cane. “This mission is important,” she says, which is ridiculous because they’re all important. He’s far too good to be wasted on the routine matters. “We have a line on the man who killed your parents.”
He’s practiced enough now that his face barely twitches, though his upper lip curls a little in a sneer. “I’ve heard that one before.”
“Not from me,” she points out, and this is true. “You’ve been working so hard for this, for so long.”
She doesn’t have any idea how long. She never did find out about the assassin Edward hired to train or kill him. Even before he had proper security clearance, Edward told a lot of tales out of school.
“Just give me the mission specs,” he says, and Mavis looks at him with what in another person he might call compassion.
“Of course, Jack,” she says.
For a lurker
SV AU C/L as written by Octavia Butler? E.g. irresistible biochemical attraction or involuntary-yet-complicated servitude. Note: I can’t hope to approach Butler.
Sometimes Lex thought it would have been easier if Clark had known what he was doing when he brought Lex back to life. If Clark had deliberately triggered the bond, alien chemicals curling from his saliva into Lex’s waterlogged mouth, into his bloodstream and his brain. Then at least Clark would have chosen all the purely human consequences of his savior’s impulse, the homosexuality and the innocent boy-older man drama.
Stacked against the social meaning of their joining, the alien imperative part of it rarely rated much thought. Yes, Lex spent years in the lab, on and off, attempting to synthesize a cure or at least a treatment. But he spent much more time organizing his life so that no one would find out about Clark. Lionel never knew that every attempt on Clark was a dagger aimed at the heart of his own son. It was possible that Lionel would have stopped had he known, but then it was also possible that bees secretly ruled the world.
He’d planned on a life as the new Alexander the Great, and instead he was a shadowy financier, Howard Hughes with a social conscience and a lover who killed anyone Lex touched and who made him sick if they were apart for more than three days. Lex was fairly sure that both of those features were a trick of human-Kryptonian interactions, a kind of allergic reaction to the wrongness of the bond. Neither result seemed evolutionarily sound as a standard model for mating, and both had been extremely troublesome to deal with when they were first learning the rules.
Smallville was the graveyard of many secrets, almost as many secrets as people.
He did wonder what life would have been like if Clark’s biology had been different, if their first encounter had been just another one of Clark’s ordinary rescues. Maybe they could actually have liked one another. Maybe Lex would have helped Clark with his do-gooding willingly, instead of out of pure self-interest. Maybe Clark wouldn’t have resented Lex for being a scheming, power-hungry would-be tyrant and not a willing partner. Maybe Lex would have been able to have a child, a Luthor to redeem the generations before her.
Too late for any of that now. Even if their emotions hadn’t hardened into concrete, their genetic makeups had been irreversibly altered. Any attempt to untangle them, even if it worked, wouldn’t rewind them to their previous selves, but only create two new entities, overwriting the real Lex Luthor just as completely as Clark’s kiss had unknowingly done.
And yet, he wanted to live, even deformed and degraded as he was. Not even to destroy Clark could he harm himself. He liked to tell himself that this cowardice was biology as well, human survival instinct welded to the Kryptonian pair bond, no more his fault than bipedalism.
Sometimes Lex thought it would have been easier if Clark had just let him drown.
(SPN/Firefly) Sam and Dean end up in the Firefly dimension. Dean meets Mal. Life is awesome. Bonus points for any angels that tag along (Castiel, Uriel). Mal as a (very disgruntled) damsel in distress who must be saved by Dean?
Mal couldn't rightly remember how long Juno's men had been beating on him. Did seem like Zoe and Jayne ought to have been back by now, unless there'd been an ambush.
The nasty little one drew back his foot for another kick.
"Hey," a cheerful voice called out. "Looks a little lopsided there, all'a you and not so much of him."
"Not your business, stranger," one of the other men said.
"Dean," another voice said warningly, not near enough to be one of the crew beating him up, but plainly of the same mind.
Too late. Juno's men were in the mood to deliver a whipping--the way Mal had spoken none-too-gentle to them might've had some relation to that--and he heard a swing being taken.
After that, matters improved considerably for Mal. The kicking stopped entirely, replaced by the sounds of scuffling and the meaty thud of fists and boots against other bodies.
"You need a doctor?" the one who wasn't Dean asked, kneeling beside him and running a gentle hand over his aching side.
Mal grunted a negative. "My ship," he said. No need to explain to strangers that his ship also meant his physician, least as long as Simon hadn't gone and gotten his fool self into another pickle. Mal was aware of the irony, curled up on the ground and more bruises than unmarked skin, but he didn't let it bother him any.
In the event, the strangers (Sam and Dean Winchester, brothers) helped him back to Serenity, and when Kaylee got a look at them--and then again when she got a look at Mal and heard him allow as how they might've done him a proper--nothing would do but that they stay and have their own cuts stitched by Simon (one of Juno's men had been waving a wicked knife) and then stay to eat at Serenity's table.
Mal never felt right when strangers were in his ship, and these weren't even paying passengers. But he couldn’t rightly turn them away, not after Kaylee had offered, and the two of them looked like they hadn’t split a good meal between them in a dog’s year. Sure enough, they ate every scrap, quick and neat, and neither one would meet anyone’s eyes when Kaylee piled seconds and thirds on their plates, Jayne the only one who kept loading his own.
River had been quiet all through dinner, which Mal ought to have known was a bad sign. When Kaylee took Dean’s plate, Dean glanced up at her and gave her a quick smile that even Mal could tell could loosen a lady’s corset at twenty paces. “Thank you, ma’am,” he said, and this was heading to a bad place because Kaylee pinked and Simon frowned. Mal didn’t give a soft fart that Dean didn’t seem to be doing it on purpose; he was doing it to Mal’s crew, and that was all Mal needed to know.
But River said, “She won’t, not unless you’ll go with Simon too. She’d really rather watch.”
Sam dropped his fork. Everyone was frozen until Dean turned his head, gave Simon a thorough looking-at, and shrugged. “Works for me,” he said easily. “Or not. We’re not lookin’ to make anyone unhappy here.”
Sam opened his mouth, looking so much like Simon embarrassed on account of River that Mal was almost dizzy with it. “You should let him,” River said before Sam could speak. “It’ll make things easier when the angels return.”
“Simon,” Jayne said, pushing back from the table, “she ain’t supposed to be this crazy no more.”
But the Winchester brothers looked like that meant something entirely too specific to them. “You gentlemen have somethin’ you want to share with us?” Mal asked, soft-like.
“They didn’t know,” River said. “They thought they’d gone far enough. You can’t fly past where they can find you,” she told the brothers. Then, without moving her eyes from them, she addressed Mal: “We have to take them with us. If we don’t, we all die. If we do, only some will.” The silence this time was even more profound.
Sam spoke first. “You’re a psychic? You see the future?”
River smiled, and every hair on Mal’s body stood up. “So do you.”
Sam swallowed. “That’s not—not any more.” Simon jolted at that; he’d been too busy glowering at Dean to pay much attention to Sam, but Sam’s words put him right on a different track.
River tilted her head, like seeing him from a different angle would make him easier to understand. For all Mal knew, it worked for her. “Both of you are seeing the future right now.”
“Sam,” Dean said, the way Mal would have said Zoe’s name if things were about to get bloody. Mal eased himself another few centimeters back from the table and adjusted his gun.
“We might not have a choice,” Sam said, still staring at River. “If you can help us, we’d—”
“Okay,” Mal said, because he had a nasty suspicion that these boys were going to end up on his ship, and maybe he’d seen the blackest trouble that could come from letting a pair of messed-up siblings stay a while, but maybe he hadn’t. “Now, we’re gonna back this conversation up until we fill in the little details that River here considers unimportant. You might oughta start with the angels.”
“Is that—is it anything like the men with the blue hands?” Simon chimed in.
Both Sam and Dean looked hornswoggled, one hundred percent ignorant.
“No,” River said, and Mal closed his eyes, because he could already hear what came next, “it’s worse.”
And a SPN snippet for myself, inspired by rewatching S2:
The nest was bigger than they’d expected, by at least ten vampires. He got separated from Sam early on, and then it was just a close-quarters fight—out in the open they’d be dead five times over—swinging his machete every which way. He got one in a truly sweet back-jab, but then four of them grabbed him from behind, pulling him to the floor. The leader stood over him, upside down, and bared her teeth. “We’re gonna make you eat everyone you ever loved,” she snarled, and he was too busy trying to jump up to give her any attitude.
Then they were on him, a tearing agony in his right shoulder, his left forearm, his left thigh, while the leader bit a hole in her wrist and dripped the blood down onto his face; he twisted away but she grabbed his face and clenched her hand around his jaw until it opened. The blood tasted like coal mixed with sugar, rotten and sweet. He tried to spit it out but his mouth wouldn’t work, his tongue novocain-numb. His muscles jerked, pinning him further on their teeth as the one who’d bled on him bent to feed on his left shoulder.
Darkness was a relief.
He blinked sticky lashes. His eyes stung and everything smelled of old blood. Sam was kneeling by his side, tying off a bandage around his leg. A head, disconnected from a body, was nudging his shoulder. Dean grimaced and tried to scoot away from it, but that set off a chain of painful explosions in every limb.
“She fed me her blood,” he realized. “Sam, I—” Gordon, he thought. Sam had always thought he was too much like Gordon. He would have laughed, if it had been funny.
Sam shook his head. “No, Dean, you won’t—you’re okay.” He said it like he was still six, assuring Dean that Santa was real.
“We don’t know how long it takes,” he said grimly. No way was he going to make Sam do the job, but it still needed doing. “You’ve gotta get out—”
“Dean,” and Sam was terrified and crying, but he was also relieved, which meant that matters were even weirder than Dean thought. “When I found you, they were unconscious around you. I just cut their heads off.”
Dean forced himself to sit up and look around. “Castiel--?”
Sam shook his head. “I don’t think so.”
The cement floor of the abandoned warehouse was gritty and a little damp under his palms. Dean shivered, because Sam knew something, and because there was only one way to knock a vampire out—
“Dead man’s blood,” he realized, like being thrown into a brick wall. Gordon, he thought again, Gordon’s blood all over Sam’s hands, cut up from the barbed wire. Blood contact.
Sam nodded, his nostrils flaring as he fought for control. “You looked—I thought they’d killed you.”
And because he never could keep his mouth shut, he said it, even though it made Sam look away: