Characters: Dean, Alistair, Bela for about two seconds.
Setting: Right when Dean breaks in Hell.
Summary: “And it is written that the first seal shall be broken when a righteous man sheds blood in hell.”
Warnings: Allusions to torture, some violent imagery, Dean is far from heroic here.
AN: There’s a piece of fanon/headcanon that I’ve seen around, and also discussed with gryfndor_godess, that suggests that the first soul Dean tortured in Hell was Bela. And I was thinking about that yesterday, and then this happened. And I’m not positive, but I think I might have managed to take that theory to an even more twisted place? Oops?
The knife rests against his skin, pushing between his ribs. He waits, anticipating the way the blade will slide like fire into his body, but it doesn’t come. Instead, Alistair leans over him and breathes hot and sour against his ear.
“You could escape, you know. Just say the word and all this pain…stops.”
Alistair sighs and leans back. “Not today.”
The knife doesn’t withdraw, but it doesn’t cut either. It’s getting harder every day to resist the temptation to give in, to stop hurting, to get up off the rack and accept his fate.
Above him, Alistair sighs again. “Your resistance, while entertaining, grows dull. We have work for you, after all. So let me see if I can’t, hmm, sweeten the pot?”
The knife works it’s way down his ribcage to his hipbone.
Alistair’s voice is smooth and hypnotic. “I’ll make you a deal. You’re nervous about torturing. I get it. Everyone’s a little nervous his first time. I want to make it good for you, so good, if you’d let me. After all, you are my favorite. So here’s the deal. You agree to give it up, and I’ll let you handpick your first dance partner. What do you say?”
He bites clean through his bottom lip, ignoring the blood that spills into his mouth, and says nothing.
It’s enough of an opening for Alistair.
“I think you like that idea, hmm? All you have to do is give me a name. One name, and this is all over.”
The knife slips between his legs, flat against his groin.
“Just one name. You’ve sent us plenty of souls, haven’t you? Don’t you want to get your hands on them, one more time? We can start slow. Ease you in with a demon that needs to learn its place. Work you up to humans.”
Faces with obsidian eyes flash across his mind. Ruby. Meg. That fucker on the plane, a million years ago.
“But there are humans here, too. Humans you knew. Humans you couldn’t kill up there, just because they were human. No such issue, down here. Down here, you can punish them all you like, and then some. Any soul you want. All I need is a name.”
It echoes through his skull, pounding away at his resolve.
And then there’s a name, rising in his throat, like bile. A name he’s held onto through thirty years of torture, the fury it evokes occasionally blocking out the pain. A name that’s weighted down with too many crimes and not nearly enough punishment.
The name tastes like sin in his mouth, like poison thick on his tongue, and he refuses to choke it back down.
The name pushes through his grit teeth and past his ragged lips, and spills into the room on a wave of his own blood.
The sound of a salvation that will leave him eternally damned.
The knife pulls away.
And then he is standing on his own two feet, and he is miraculously, blessedly whole. The damage to his lips and the raw skin from his restraints is healed, and there’s more to his body than just skin and bone. He has clothes.
He finally looks at the rack, his prison for an entire lifetime.
There is someone else on it, looking at him with wide shocked eyes, and a mouth that catches on his name.
Alistair slips up to his side, all smooth motions and coiled power…
And hands him the knife.