Sam Winchester’s Journal – Entry #95
It was the second nightmare this week, the seventh this month.
I could say I’m used to it by now, but nobody in their right mind can be used to their brother screaming their name helplessly in the middle of the night. The fact that every episode is more violent than the preceding one doesn’t help either. It started when Dean came back to the bunker again, three, four months ago. At first, it was just words I could hardly decipher through the door when I was coming back from the library or the kitchen; then, as time went by, they became cries, louder and louder every time. My name, pretty often. Calls for help too. Pleas for whatever torture to stop. Again and again and again.
Stop, don’t do this, please. PLEASE. STOP. MAKE IT STOP.
When the morning comes, I pretend nothing has happened, that I didn’t jump from my bed—gun in hand—just in case it wasn’t a dream this time, and I get breakfast ready, waiting for my brother to wake up. That’s the way it is. I stopped trying to tell Dean about his nightmares a long time ago. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care or that it doesn’t make me want to bang my head against the wall, but seriously, to what end? Hearing Dean throw at my face “It’s nothing, Sammy I’m fine!” then bursting out of the room and not reappearing until lunch? Seeing him derail the conversation on a possible case, or joking about the fact that I’m all grumpy and that I’m “lacking magnesium” or something? We’ve already been through this so many times that there’s no point in tackling the subject anymore so now, I just ask him carelessly if he’s alright, if he slept well, the usual morning stuff. No more, no less. I don’t mention the Mark, the screams, the nightmares. Just that hot coffee and toast is on the table and that we should have a look at this mysterious disappearance in Iowa or these sudden electricity blackouts in South Carolina.
I know that Dean told me more than once not to worry, that he’s got the Mark under control. But having this catastrophe “absolutely under control” (as he loves to say with a smile) makes as much sense as boasting you’re sleeping on a mattress of C4 and that it’s definitely the best bed you’ve ever had in your life. I want to trust my brother, I want to believe in his strength and his ability to resist the Mark and to make it an ally somehow, I really do, but I saw with Cain what controlling this curse eventually means and it’s a future I’m not willing to see for Dean. That’s what convinced me, in spite of all my apprehensions, to finally come up with a plan to save my brother.
Well, a “plan”…
It was the stupidest idea I’ve had in years, to be honest: keeping Dean away for a day or two, breaking into Heaven, helping Metatron escape from jail and make him confess how to remove the Mark. It sounded pretty easy on paper. It sounded far less easy once I realized that the only assets I had in this mission were Castiel, currently at 50% of his angelic capacities, and an immense dose of determination.
The first part of the mission was unsurprisingly easy: all it took was threatening Dean with some pseudointellectual French movie (the best threat ever, after grocery shopping) and I could leave the bunker without raising suspicion. I joined Castiel a couple of miles away from home, fully aware of the risk I was taking by leaving Dean alone. I was dreading all the usual pranks he was gonna pull on me while I was away (not the toothbrush again, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD) but I was much more worried about how he was gonna behave. He’s been pretty good at restraining the effects of the Mark lately but I know it would only take a spark, a tiny spark, to make him go dark side again and that if it actually happened, nobody would be able to stop him this time: Crowley fears the Mark and Dean like the plague, Cain is dead, Charlie is M.I.A, Castiel doesn’t make the weight, particularly with his grace borrowed from the “angel pawnshop”, and me? Let’s not even talk about me. I’m a joke in spite of being a Men of Letters’ Legacy. What am I gonna do? Spray holy water at him with a SuperSoaker? Keep him in the basement for the next fifty years? Please…It worked so well last time!
If my brother has to be stopped and the Mark removed, it’s now.
Anyway, the second part of my “flawless” plan that could have come straight from Coyote’s blueprints collection went, as you may expect, pretty poorly. A garrison of angels was waiting for us and we couldn’t even put one foot in Heaven, let alone have a conversation with Metatron. It wasn’t a very surprising outcome, to be honest. Cas and I were well aware we were like two idiots trying to reach the heart of Fort Knox with a plastic gun and a corkscrew but still, it was worth a try before going for plan B: Bobby Singer, our very own inside man.
Poor Bobby. The old man will never rest in peace. Even dead and comfortably settled in Heaven, the Winchesters will carry on, pissing him off by asking for favors through the best psychic in the country. Bobby didn’t hesitate long before agreeing to give us a helping hand from up there, of course —what wouldn’t he do for his sons?—but he couldn’t help asking if we were his only option, if there wasn’t somebody better out there.
I knew what he meant. Dad. Certainly. It wasn’t a stupid scenario, Dad would have been the right man for the job but even if I actually needed his help, it wouldn’t have been worth a try as the man made his soul pretty damn impossible to track. Not even Ash’s complex algorithms and fancy computers could’ve found him.
Nobody can tell where she is either. And it’s for the best if you want my opinion, she suffered enough. Maybe Mom and Dad are together somewhere, in a distant corner of Heaven, reliving the day she learned she was pregnant with Dean or when she came back home after my birth, with the whole family in the car, me in her arms and Dean in the back seat playing with his Playskool plastic plane. Or maybe her perfect memory has nothing to do with any of us and I couldn’t blame her for it.
I didn’t dare to open my mouth when Bobby agreed to our escape plan and chuckled that he didn’t risk anything anyway because he was already dead. Or maybe it was his way to tell me he knew far too well that souls could be tortured and skinned alive, and it was a risk he was willing to take for us. He was our only chance anyway and as expected, I was right to trust the old man: it didn’t take very long before the door to Heaven was open and Cas could sneak inside, returning with Metatron under his arm.
At last, I had the son of a bitch in front of me.
He hadn’t changed at all. Same old dirty pullover. Same stooped shoulders. Same unbearable smirk that makes you want to punch him in the face over and over again.
Castiel and I tried to make him confess the way to cure Dean, but the bastard refused to talk and tried to play one of his cons on us. The old Sam Winchester would have taken his time to listen, negotiate, weigh the pros and the cons, threaten, threaten and threaten again before coming to violence because torture is bad and he’s a decent human being, but the man I have become politely asked Castiel to slit Metatron’s throat and steal his grace, then shot him in the leg. Yes, just like that. It was as much to make my point as to take immense pleasure in witnessing the Scribe of God suffer and beg. I could try to sugarcoat it, pretending I did it all in the name of justice or whatever, but it would be a lie: his pleading when the bullet hit his ball joint was absolutely delightful, and I was this close to shooting the other leg when Metatron finally admitted he didn’t know anything about removing the Mark. That he’d lied in order to have a chance at escape and make it out alive.
Fuck it. All this—the psychic, Bobby, breaking into Heaven, having half of its security forces on our trail—all for nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. Apparently something could be done about Cas’ grace and it’s a little victory in itself. A little victory, more than welcomed after the mess that was today.
When I came back home, Dean was there nursing a beer and of course, I didn’t tell him about my rather busy day. I have no idea what he’s been up to but it’s not difficult to guess from the tone of his voice there was more to the story than “I went to a bar and got wasted”. It doesn’t matter anyway, we’ll stick to both of our ‘official versions’ for now: Dean was in town playing pool and I was at the movies, enjoying a mesmerizing production by Marcel Whatever depicting the adventures of a stylish Parisian woman who enjoys smoking Gitanes cigarettes in front a window, on a sad rainy day. (Isn’t that what happens in every French movie?).
I’m in my room, now, holding a letter Bobby had the time to give Castiel.
It took me minutes to even open it. I mean, it seemed so unreal, receiving a message from beyond the grave, even for a man like me who has seen so much in his life. Bobby made it clear that I shouldn’t try to help my brother behind his back, no matter the circumstances … that all the other times I’d made this inconsiderate choice, things didn’t turn out the way they should’ve but all his words of wisdom were not enough to convince me I wasn’t right about today. Why? Because I wasn’t ready to hear another “Drop it, Sam!” and Dean shutting down the conversation or even leaving the bunker for good. I wasn’t ready to let my brother give up. I wasn’t ready to take no for an answer again.
Not this time.