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duckondebut


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Reversebang Fic: The Future Is Forever
chase surgeon
duckondebut
Title: The Future Is Forever
Author: duckondebut
Fandom/Genre: SPN gen
Pairing(s): Sam/Jess, some references to Sam/Brady
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~3,060
Warnings: Pre-series AU, but SPOILERS upto end of s8. Swearing, references to mental illness, some violence.
Summary: In 1958, after his initiation into the Men of Letters goes horribly wrong, Henry Winchester performs a spell that will take him to his closest relative by blood to escape. He emerges in Sam Winchester and Jessica Moore's apartment in October 2005.

Notes: This was written for the 2014/2015 SPN Reversebang Challenge, for crimsontoad’s gorgeous art prompt.

My thanks to crimsontoad for their art that inspired this story, to themegalosaurus, the Fastest Beta in the West, and to the Mods for organising such a huge challenge so efficiently and gracefully.

Special thanks to quickreaver for being an actual angel and giving me far more leeway than I probably deserve. <3

ART MASTERPOST



23rd April, 1957

I’ve been thinking about curtains.

It sounds rather absurd—irresponsible and frivolous, even, considering the importance of the next few days. I should be preparing; I should be practicing. Instead I’ve been reading and re-reading this letter I’ve received from John, as though it would burn up at any moment and I have to commit the words to memory.

John’s away at Millie’s parents’ place so that we can apply some sorely-needed renovations to the house; the boy has taken a great interest in what we will do with his room. I told him we have bought new curtains for him, with rabbits on them. ‘But Papa,’ he writes, ‘the rabbits can’t stay there forever. You have to free them’.

It pains me, almost, to correct him—he’s such an intense little boy, so full of wonder at the world around him. There is no need for him to unlearn magic only for him to relearn everything in adulthood that he’d been taught to reject; there is time, yet, for cartoon rabbits to leap from his bedroom curtains and into his arms (perhaps I can persuade Magnus into trying something…?)

My John is destined for great things.

-

It all starts with a prophetic dream about Jessica dying, burning on the ceiling of their bedroom, and then, somehow, impossibly, goes downhill from there.

It’s a nice morning; Jessica’s opened the windows to let a bit of the ocean breeze in, and it feels cool against Sam’s heated skin and soothes his throbbing headache. He’s got one bare leg slung over their kitchen table and the other stretched out, a hot mug of coffee nestled at his crotch. He’s been contemplating drinking the thing for at least ten minutes—as it steadily went from scalding to steaming to merely hot—but he’s so tired, he’s so fucking tired, and he’s in the perfect position and angle where the morning sun and the breeze are helping instead of hurting his headache, and really, he’s sure that one wrong move is going to send him spiralling down a road that will inevitably end up with him bent over the toilet-bowl for the rest of the morning—

“So—either the LSAT scores were really great, or they were really fucking terrible.”

Sam jumps and nearly spills his coffee down his boxers. “W-what?”

Jessica steps in front of the window; the sun filters brilliantly through her hair and her smile is half-lost in shadow. Sam grimaces. “I look that bad, huh?”

She gently extracts his coffee mug, squints at its contents, and sticks it in the microwave. “Worse than last semester’s finals,” she says lightly, then turns, her shoulders visibly tensing. “Better than the last time Brady dragged you to a sorority party.”

Sam has never wished harder that he actually did go to one of Brady’s ridiculous parties. He gathers his legs in, sticks his hands between his knees. “Didn’t sleep all that well,” he mumbles.

The microwave dings, but Jessica, unhappily, still doesn’t move, or even turn to look at him. “Is it your—” She shakes her head. “Do you need to, y’know, change your medication, or—”

Sam tries to remember the last time she could bear to look at him while discussing this. Remembers making a shaking, scrabbling promise of honesty, snot and tears running down his face, desperate, so desperate to not have her leave. Knows that she knows that he has broken that promise several times over, and yet he says, quietly, “I’m fine, Jess, really.”

“Right,” she says, and takes the coffee out of the microwave and thrusts it into his hands, a little too quickly, a little too forcefully. The coffee sloshes and some of it spills and scalds Sam’s hands, but he’s too busy feeling like a total heel. “Jess, wait,” he says as she turns to their bedroom, unsure even now why he’s saying it at all, “I dreamt that—I mean, the nightmare, it was, uh—” He swallows. “You died. You were burning on the ceiling above the bed.”

She gapes at him for a long, long moment where Sam can hear his heart thudding in his ears, then starts laughing. “Is that your subconscious telling me that I shouldn’t have burned last night’s dinner?”

Sam’s head resumes throbbing, and he finds himself, embarrassingly, on the verge of tears. He decides it’s probably not a good time to say that he’s been having the same dream for a few nights now, or that he’s terrified as fuck. “Probably,” he says, and hides his face in his coffee mug as he takes a long sip. It burns his tongue, but what does it matter, right? Jessica’s burning, he’s burning, none of it means anything—

There’s a sudden crash from inside their bedroom.

Jessica’s smile drops off and Sam freezes. Together, they burst into the room to find a well-dressed man half-in and half-out of their closet, wrestling out of a pile of laundry. He looks up when they come in, and tries to look as dignified as possible while still entrenched in dirty underwear.

“Excuse me,” he says, “but you wouldn’t happen to know where I can find John Winchester, would you?”

-

All Dean knows is that she has hair red like blood and the most vicious eyes that he’s ever seen. And that’s before they turned pitch black.

He’s thrown across the motel room before he can finish thinking demon? His back cracks hard against the bedpost, and he slumps to the floor, heaving, his muscles seizing up with the shock of the pain that’s fucking exploding through him. From the corner of his eye he can still see the undisturbed lines of salt across the door and all the windows—how the hell did this bitch get in?

She strides towards him, grabs him by the chin, and lifts him up like he weighs nothing. “Winchester,” she says, her thick red lips opening and closing around the word in a way that Dean might’ve even found sensual if she hadn’t opened them again and a tendril of black smoke whirled lazily through the air towards his face.

Exorcisamus te, Dean thinks wildly, then freezes on what comes next. And he knows he knows it, just as sure as he knows he’s got that flask of holy water in his duffel on the bed and his rosary in his pocket. It’s just that demons are really fucking rare, or, hey, just really fucking smart—he can’t remember the last time he went up against one of the bastards, and even then Dad always, always insisted on backup, and Dean’s beginning to see why.

The wisp of smoke weaves its way into his open mouth despite his struggles. There’s a moment of blessed numbness before it feels like his head just exploded and his brain’s being sucked through his ears. He sees images like flashes behind his eyelids (oh god he can’t remember closing his eyes at all), too fleeting to really register beyond Dad – Sam – Mom – fire – pain – hunting. Her grip tightens until he’s sure that she’s going to break his neck, just before she lets go, the images stop, and he falls, panting and moaning with the aftershocks.

“Well, then,” she says, “if you aren’t just the prettiest little budding serial killer.” She crouches next to him. “Don’t think your granddaddy would be terribly proud, though. What do you say we meet him?”

Lady, if that’s your attempt at euphemism for ‘murder’, I gotta tell ya—it’s really fucking lame.

Dean has neither the breath nor the time to voice that opinion before she’s forcing open his mouth again and closing in like she’s about to give him a particularly lewd kiss; except this time she vomits out an actual fountain of black smoke that funnels into him and burns like fire and tastes like sulphur. Dean’s screaming but he can’t hear it—can’t even feel it; just knows that he’s being pushed further and further into the back of his mind until even his thoughts aren’t his anymore.

No, he says, somewhere in this little void, please no.

His cellphone rings.

He sees his legs roll the body of the red-haired woman over, his hands pick up the phone; feels his lips curl up in a slow, slow smile and hears himself say, “John…”

He flips open the phone and places it at his ear. “Dad?”

“Whatever you’re doing, drop it and drive straight to Palo Alto,” John says curtly. “I’ll phone you there and we’ll meet up.” A pause, and John speaks again, his voice softer, with just the tiniest undercurrent of fear that would’ve terrified Dean in any other circumstance: “Dean… Sammy’s in trouble. I need your help.”

-

Jessica’s absolutely livid, and in a way Sam’s grateful for it because consoling her, apologising to her, fucking grovelling at her feet is something he can do without completely falling apart. Trying to process the fact that his grandfather’s just popped over from 1957, running from a demon and looking for his father, however, is utterly beyond him at the moment.

He follows her into the kitchen, the “Jess, Jess,” on his lips a nonsensical refrain that’s meant to ground him more than anything else. “Jess, please.”

She turns on her heel when they reach the kitchen, her hair flying across her face. “What the hell, Sam? Is this some kind of—” She takes a breath. “Did Brady arrange this? Is this some sort of elaborate prank?”

“Jess, listen to me, it’s not a pr—” The words stumble and suddenly come to a grinding halt at the thought of this whole thing actually being a prank; that Brady somehow found out about everything, and he’s… he’s laughing at Sam in the worst way possible, taunting him with his secret in front of Jessica simply because he can, and once he would’ve thought Brady incapable of such cruelty but now, but now

“Sam, sit,” he hears Jessica say, as though from far away, “Sam, sit before you fall over, now, come on.”

He lets her guide him into a chair, focussing on taking deep and even breaths.

“This is not a trick, I assure you,” Henry says, from the doorway.

“You—shut up,” Jessica says, more viciously than Sam’s ever heard her, then kneels in front of Sam, taking his hands in hers. “Sam, listen,” she says, “whatever this is, I’ll figure it out, okay? I’ll talk to Brady, I’ll—I’ll talk to campus police; whatever chip he has on his shoulder, he can’t have strangers breaking in here, talking—whatever the hell nonsense that was.”

“I’m not a stranger, and I’m not breaking in—technically,” Henry supplies, unhelpfully.

“But he knows,” Sam whispers, before he can really stop himself.

Jessica frowns. “Knows what?”

“About everything.” Sam shivers, suddenly acutely aware that he’s got nothing on except his boxers. “About… hunting, monsters, things in the dark.”

Her hands tighten over his for a second before falling away. “Sam—”

“It’s all true, Jess, all of it,” he says in a rush, suddenly uncaring of whether this whole thing is a gigantic ruse, knowing only that the truth, long overdue, needs to come out. “I’m—my family—we’re hunters. We—track down supernatural things, ghosts, werewolves, demons, and we kill them. Jess,” he barrels on, somewhat encouraged by the fact that she’s still meeting his gaze, “I stepped away from all of that. It’s not—who I am, not anymore. I never wanted a part of that life again, and I want what we have to be as far away from it as possible—”

“Sam,” Jessica says, very, very quietly, “Do you need me to call Dr. Charles?”

He freezes. “What?”

“You’re obviously having some kind of breakdown,” she says, carefully.

“I’m not,” Sam says. “Just—listen. It’ll all make sense. I’ll show you.”

Jessica’s shaking her head, looking away. She settles back on her heels. “I can’t believe Brady would try something like this again.”

“What? Jess, Brady has nothing to do with this; at least, I don’t think he does.”

“This is exactly how he left you when you were with him!” she says, her eyes glinting with a hint of tears. “Do you even remember how you were before you broke up with Brady? Because I do!”

“That wasn’t his fault,” Sam says. Or at least, Sam’s never blamed him for the whole mess. What little he can remember from that relationship mostly involves long, long sweaty mornings of missing classes together in bed, and Sam trying so hard (trying so hard), running in place and going nowhere, Brady lying with him, kissing him, bursting in and opening doors and fighting all of Sam’s demons, no matter how silly or ephemeral.

With a sharp, guilty pang, Sam realises he misses him.

“Right,” Jessica says. “Right, it was the evil psychiatrist that got in the way.”

“Forgive me for interrupting,” Henry says, “but if you can just direct me to the nearest telephone I’ll be quite grateful.”

Sam doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

-

“I saw the salt,” Henry says.

Sam looks up from his cellphone and frowns. “What?”

“The salt, the sigils at the doors and windows,” Henry elaborates. “It’s… utilitarian, but not without skill.” He shifts his gaze to a point behind Sam’s shoulder. “Did my—did John teach you that?”

“He taught me and my brother,” Sam says. “Raised us to be hunters.” He laughs bitterly. “Of course, I should’ve known that it’s an actual family business. Should’ve known that somehow or the other, Dad’s always fucking right.”

“Sam,” Henry says, “You were never meant to be hunters.”

“Yeah,” Sam says, “yeah, that’s what I thought, too—and yet, here you are.”

Henry opens his mouth like he’s going to object, then sighs. “Have you been able to establish contact with John at all?”

“He’s not picking up.” Sam gets up, feeling distinctly like he’s going to vibrate out of his skin. He paces to the bedroom door for the fifth time in ten minutes and considers knocking—Jessica locked the door on the third try; he’s not sure who she’s calling or what he’s going to do, and Sam really, really doesn’t like how this day is going.

“There must be a valid reason why he is not answering his son’s calls.”

Sam laughs at that, long and hard, feeling himself lap just at the edges of hysterical. “John Winchester has a valid reason for everything,” he says.

Henry looks concerned. “Sam—”

The next thing Sam knows is the door bursting open, and he’s facing down the barrel of a shotgun, with his father and brother at the other end. Jessica shrieks and comes out of the bedroom, eyes red-rimmed and hair dishevelled and so, so fucking terrified, and—

Sam laughs.

-

Just three hours later, Jessica finds herself cramped in between Sam and Henry in the back of an old, rumbling Chevy Impala, regretting almost every single one of her life choices.

Henry’s sitting stock-straight at her right, staring at the back of John’s head like the man might disappear if he dares to look away, turning his hat in his hands nervously; Sam’s slumped against her shoulder, sleeping restlessly. She hadn’t known what to do, back at the apartment—she wanted to believe Sam, wanted to mainly because he looked like he needed it so desperately, but when he started laughing and wouldn’t stop until Dean stunned him with a blow to his face—

She really, really should’ve just called for a fucking ambulance.

Instead, she’s with a man claiming to be her boyfriend’s time travelling grandfather, on the road with a family that hunts demons. It’s mostly the guns that did it—gigantic sawed-offs that can take her head off with one shot, wielded with the kind of easy familiarity that she’s only ever seen on television. She still has her phone, but Dean—the great Dean, the spectre-over-their-lives Dean—seems to be watching her every movement, and there’s something intensely predatory about the look in his eye that makes her want to vomit.

But he’s sitting in the front seat now; unless he has eyes in the back of his head (god she hopes he doesn’t), this is her best chance.

Jessica moves to ease the phone out of her pocket—just dialling 911, hopefully, will give people some idea of where they are and where they’re possibly headed; she’s willing to take the risk to talk, even, at least for Sam’s sake.

“Uh uh uh, darling,” Dean says, before she’s even moved her fingers into her pocket. He turns in his seat and smiles at her. “Your phone, baby. Now.”

She considers refusing for a brief second, then pulls the phone out and hands it over.

Dean smiles, slides his hand over hers as he takes the phone. “Sammy always did know how to pick the smart ones,” he says, and just before she recoils, she has the strangest image of a woman on fire, pinned to a ceiling, saying Why before Sam wakes up screaming.

-

24th October, 2005

It is quite a shock to learn that you have failed your life’s goals so thoroughly even before you’ve begun working for them.

I stand here, lost, with my family but without them. John speaks Latin with a practised fluency like I always imagined he would, but his hands are stained with gunpowder and his face is carved with pain. Dean is all flashing grins and leather jacket and a bravado to match, but his hands falter as he draws the summoning ritual, and he’s angry, so very, very angry. And Sam—Sam is so lost, both within and without, it hurts to watch him.

My thoughts are still with curtains and rabbits, however, when John slices his palm and dribbles blood over the final sigil. There’s a quiet reverence, still, for what he has done and what he still has to do, as he brings his sons in for the last incantation.

My John… destined for great things.

Finis


  • 1
oh my everloving god, this is perfect. Made me want more so so badly. I love Jess in this, and Sam, and how understated everything is. Thank you so much for posting.

Oh heck! Now what! Abaddon inside Dean... I wonder what her agenda would be and how it would fit with Azazel's. What a set up!

I love how you twisted canon here, and the endless possibilities of how Henry's arrival in this timeline would change everything is just fascinating.

I love how headstrong Jess is, and I think you did a great job with Henry. It was great to see John through his eyes.

Thank you for sharing! :)

Leaving Dean possessed by Abaddon is a terrible thing to do to the poor reader!!!

Don't mind me, I'm just curled into a little ball here in the corner...

Aw man. That was intense. I was so excited when I saw this prompt. Dean. With Abbadon in him. Ouch.

aaaaah, I love it. OH, HENRY. <3

This is wonderful but it feels liked the is much more to come. After all Dean is possessed! Are you writing more?

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