Dean doesn’t like this plan.
In fact, he rather hates it and he isn’t above making his displeasure known.
“This is stupid, Sam.” He tells his brother.
Sam throws up his hands and sighs exasperatedly, “You’ve already said that like three times, Dean. I don’t like it too much either, but what choice do we have?”
“I know … but letting that thing feed on you? What if this gobbledygook doesn’t work or this backpack thing decides to suck out all of your brains at once or I can’t wake you up at all?”
“It a bakhtak, Dean, a bakhtak … and it’s either we do this or I never sleep again and I’m getting pretty damn sick of not sleeping after the last few weeks I’ve had.” Sam snaps and rubs his head. Dean can tell he must have one monster of a headache from all of the no-doze he’s taken, so he digs into his pack and finds a bottle of Tylenol, tossing it to his brother.
“Jeez … you sure do get cranky when you miss your nap, Sammy.”
Sam attempts to catch the bottle, but his movements are too slow and sluggish and he misses the catch by a mile, which does little to make Dean feel better about this plan. Sam is barely functioning and Dean isn’t feeling too great either.
“It’s been over 40 hours since either one of us slept,” Sam shoots back testily, opening the Tylenol and popping three into his mouth, talking as he chewed on the medicine, “there’s only so much caffeine in the world to keep me awake any longer – so yeah – I’m cranky and I’m freakin’ tired.”
Sam grabs an open Red Bull and chases the pills with the sugary drink.
Dean wishes there could have been a way to let his brother get some rest before all this, but there wasn’t any way he was going to risk letting Sam doze off while that thing was still alive, so neither one of them has slept, surviving the last 40 hours on nothing but high-carb snacks, caffeine pills and more Red-bulls than a rave at Britney Spear’s house.
“Okay …” Dean raises his hands in surrender, “but if we do this and things even so much as look like they’re going south, I’m pulling the plug.”
“Whatever, man … I just want to get this over with.” Sam says, his shoulders slumping and Dean has a flashback to that damned hospital room in the mental ward when Sam had been on the brink of giving up and resigned himself to dying.
Dean wasn’t going to let that happen then and he’s not going to let that happen now.
He still hates this plan, but what he hates more is seeing Sam sitting at the table of their motel room looking at his bed like a starving man looks at a T-bone steak and he also hates the dark, half-moons under his eyes that speak to just how exhausted and worn out his little brother is. He’s tired too and hasn’t slept either while they searched for a way to kill the bakhtak , needing to stay alert in order to make sure Sam didn’t fall asleep, but his unease isn’t going to let him rest until this creature gets ganked.
But now that night was falling and they have a plan, it was time to set it into motion, despite Dean’s misgivings.
Step one of the plan involved Sam going to sleep, which shouldn’t be hard given how exhausted he looks, but step two was the part that worried Dean. They had to let the bakhtak come to Sam and do its whole fear and nightmare sucking while Dean had to be prepared to recite some spell in Arabic that he could only hope he would pronounce right, even after the hours that Sam had spent coaching him to memorize the phonetically spelled words.
But the really tricky part would come after Dean recited the spell, for it was then that Dean would only have seconds to attack while the bakhtak was visible and solid enough for him to thrust a silver knife into its heart and kill it – or at least that is what Sam’s research had come up with.
But there was no guarantee that even that would work and who could say what it would do if it didn’t – would it just kill Sam outright or send him into a sleep so deep that he’d never be able to drag his brother out of it? There were too many question marks in this plan for Dean’s liking, but Sam had a point, there was only so long he could go without sleep before he collapsed and seeing how panicked and scared Sam had been after the last encounter they had with the monster, he wanted this thing dead and gone for good.
Darkness is falling and she can hear the discussion bouncing back and forth between the two men, but she’s not afraid of their plans—she’s much stronger than these mere humans and after she has her fill of the first, she will be unstoppable and the second man will have no chance.
She knows will have to be fast, swoop in and drain the younger one quickly, but it will be worth the risk – his pain will make her powerful.
Dean turns to Sam and bucks up his resolve, “You ready?”
Sam nods wearily, “Yeah.”
“Alright,” Dean says warily while Sam walks over to the bed, approaching it carefully and puffing his breath like he did before he fell into Hell and shit if that doesn’t make Dean want to call this whole damned thing off again.
Sam lies down on the bed without taking his clothes off, just in case there might be some cause for them to beat another hasty retreat from this motel. He closes his eyes and lies there while Dean pulls out the stuff they need, sliding the knife under the waistband of his jeans and clutching the words of the spell on a folded piece of paper in his hand just in case he can’t remember all of the words as he too lays down on his bed and pretends to sleep – keeping a close ear on his brother.
Dean would know the second Sam was asleep – he’d lived with the guy far too long not to recognize the subtle change in breathing (snoring) that signaled his total submersion into dreamland, but after several long minutes, that change still wasn’t coming.
“Dean …” Sam says into the darkness.
“What do you mean you can’t sleep? You’ve been fighting it off for the last two days.”
“I dunno – I just can’t relax enough to get comfortable, ya know?”
“What do you want me to do, sing you a lullaby?”
“God, Dean -- You don’t have to be a dick about it.”
“Jeez … I’m sorry, I just didn’t figure on you pulling the whole princess and the pea crap. You know what you need to do?”
“Don’t think. I know that’ll be hard for you, but just focus on relaxing your muscles and shutting down that nuclear powered brain of yours for once and you’ll be asleep in no time. Works for me.”
“That’s just because there’s not much to turn off.”
“Shut your bitch-ass mouth and go to sleep, will ya?”
Dean can’t see it in the darkness, but he can almost hear Sam smirking and sure enough, a few minutes of silence goes by and Sam’s breathing evenly out into long snores that grow progressively louder.
And he thinks I snore? Dean mutters inside his head.
He isn’t sure how long he needs to wait – Sam said that most people go into R.E.M. sleep, and the stage of sleep when the bakhtak would most likely try to strike after he went through the 4 stages of non-R.E.M. sleep which could last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. All he can do is wait for some sign that Sam is dreaming, which usually isn’t very hard if he’s having a nightmare. But after about a half hour of careful listening, he feels a subtle change in the atmosphere of the room – something that he would have normally missed had he really been asleep.
It feels like a heavy cloud has entered the room – he can’t see it, but he knows it there. Like an invisible fog, it rolls into the room and blankets the space above them and begins to descend.
Sam hears the humming and he knows it’s coming for him. He’s afraid, but the song washes over his senses and pulls him further under.
Suddenly it’s dark and hot – the heat is growing exponentially and he can feel his flesh begin to sizzle and crack. Pain erupts across his nerves as fire flares up around him and a familiar voice echoes in his mind him, laughing.
“Welcome home, Sammy. Warm enough for you or should I turn up the thermostat?”
“This is a dream … you can’t hurt me.” Sam shouts as the flames lick at his skin and the pain begins to overwhelm him.
“Really? You sure about that? You know we’ve been over this before. What makes you think an angel can spring you from this cage, huh? You think it’s that easy?” Lucifer laughs again, “I’m an angel too, Sammy and if I can’t get myself outta here, how would that two-bit cherub be able to?”
Fire surrounds his vision and agony is all he knows as his skin chars and blackens. Smoke fills his lungs and he chokes, unable to pull a breath in, move, or fight back and he sinks to his knees, the pain weakening his resolve and he knows now that there is no escape and Lucifer is right – he never left the cage.
Dean knows that it’s now or never for him to act.
He opens his eyes, feels for the knife hidden in his waistband, and clutches it tight in his hand while starting to chant the words of the spell. Though he had been worried about flubbing his lines, the heat of the moment and the adrenaline pumping in his veins in knowing that Sam needs him to get it right before the bahktak can hurt him makes the words come easily to his lips.
Almost instantly, Dean can see the shape of the creature coalesce from a smoky, black cloud into a distinguishable form. It snarls at Dean with a hideous mouth full of sharp, jagged teeth and turns its red eyes on him in fury, but it’s not letting go of Sam and even as Dean begins to shout the words of the spell, it takes it partially formed hands and presses them into his little brother’s temples like it’s reaching inside his brain. Sam’s body begins to shake and seize and Dean nearly stalls on the last few lines of the spell when his brother cries out, but he has to say it all in order for it to be solid enough for Dean to kill.
The last words of the spell finally tumble from Dean’s mouth and the beast rears up on its haunches as it takes on a solid, hideous form that sits squarely on his brother’s chest. It’s only a few feet tall, but it’s far from cute. It’s covered in scales all over its naked body, has an upturned snout much like a pig, and it sports two small devil’s horns poking out from its forehead, but fully solid now and that means Dean can kills its fugly ass.
Dean is in motion at the same time as it makes one more desperate lunge at Sam’s head with its gnarled fingers, digging them into Sam’s head. Sam’s back arches off the bed while Dean makes a flying leap across the space between the beds with a deep-throated growl of rage and tackles the creature, wrapping both arms around its midsection like a linebacker, ripping its grasp away from Sam and sending them both falling to the floor.
While the spell has trapped the bahktak in its solid body and it can’t escape out the ceiling in a cloud of vapor like it did last time, for such a small thing, it’s incredibly strong and agile and has no trouble releasing its rage on Dean for interrupting its mealtime by tossing him into the nearest wall.
Dean’s back hits the hard plaster and he falls to the floor, losing his grasp on the knife’s handle. An instant later a crushing weight lands on his chest, violently expelling all of the air from his lungs in one painful impact. He can’t inhale no matter how hard he tries and his hands and arms aren’t nearly strong enough to push the creature away from his body. The bahktak’s mouth opens to emit a high-pitched screech before turning it glowing, red eyes on Dean and pressing harder into him, black saliva drips in streams from it fangs.
Spots dance across his vision as he feels ribs begin to crack under the pressure, but he’s not ready to give up – not yet.
His hands fall to the floor and search for the knife he dropped, his fingers scrabbling along the carpet trying to come in contact with the missing blade, but wherever it is, it’s out of his reach.
His vision starts to grey and the weight of failure lies heavier on him than the creature trying to crush the life out of him. He’s blindly scrabbling his hand across the carpet when the tip of his middle finger touches cold metal.
The bakhtak grins ferally, but then again, so does Dean.
He stretches his hand and wraps it around the handle of the knife and uses what is left of his remaining strength to grasp the weapon, thrust it upward and under the monster’s armpit until it pierces the skin of its chest, scrapes along rib bones and punches into its beating heart. Warm, black liquid pours onto Dean’s hand as he twists the dagger in deeper for good measure.
The bakhtak’s mouth opens, but no sound comes forth as it screams silently and begins to list to the side. Dean pushes at it and rolls it from his chest until it is writhing on the floor beside him with the knife still stuck in its chest. Black goo oozes from its every pore, streaming from its eyes, nose, and mouth until its body begins to disintegrate with a plume of inky smoke until it is nothing more than a sticky mass of blood and tissue. The mess left is left behind that gives off a vile, noxious odor that smells like a mixture of decay, death, and rotting garbage.
Finally able to inflate his lungs once again, Dean sucks in a greedy, deep breath despite the putrid smell and the pain in his chest, but as he comes to his knees, he can see that Sam is still lying unconscious on the bed.
He forces himself to his feet and stumbles over to the bed where Sam is sprawled motionless and he knows just by looking at his pale, grey skin and blue lips that his brother isn’t breathing.
“Dammit.” Dean breathes, choking down growing panic.
He immediately attempts to find Sam’s pulse -- It’s there, but it’s weak, slow and sluggish, and he has to get his brother breathing again before it stops completely. He tilts Sam’s head back and covers his lips over his brother’s mouth, puffing out two breaths and watching his brother’s chest rise and fall then repeats the process again when Sam refuses to take a breath on his own.
“Goddammit, Sam … c’mon already …”
Dean can feel every his brother slipping away from him with each breath he gives to Sam, but he refuses to believe that this is it – that after everything – after Hell, after the apocalypse, after Lucifer, after soullessness, after a broken wall, and after insanity, that he was going to lose his brother to a midget demon that likes to munch of people’s dreams.
No – it’s not happening – not while he’s still there to do something about it.
Inhaling again, Dean is about to give Sam another breath when his little brother suddenly jerks and sucks in a mighty gulp of air. Dean just about faints with relief, letting his knees sag into the mattress. Sam’s eyes flutter and open into slits, unfocused.
“Hey, Sammy … you with me?” Dean cajoles, patting his brother’s face to wake him up further and to get some kind of response from him, “C’mon, man … talk to me here.”
“Dean?” Sam’s eyes slide to Dean, he looks out of sorts, but he’s making eye contact and that counts as a win in Dean’s book.
Dean sighs out heavily in relief, “Yeah, dude … you okay? You scared the crap outta me.”
“M’out? … not real? … Lucifer … gone?” Sam tries to ask between breaths.
“Yeah … just a dream. Lucifer’s gone and you’re here with me, okay?” Sam closes his eyes tiredly and nods with an exhausted sigh.
“Was so real.” Sam breathes. He then sniffs the air and opens his eyes wider, looking at Dean and scrunching up his nose like he just passed gas or something, “Good God … What is that smell?” He asks.
Dean looks down at the pile of goo that used to be the Bahktak and grins, allowing himself a little chuckle now that he knows that Sam is going to be okay, “That, my brother … is the smell of victory.”
Sam and Dean stick around the motel just long enough to clean up the pile of goo in the room, but the putrid smell is too bad for either one of them to stand more than a few minutes in the room at a time. Once the evidence is removed, they leave the stench of the dead Bahktak behind, both feeling a little guilty for the maid who would be left with the task of cleaning that room. They then high-tail it to the nearest empty field and burn the remains with plenty of salt and lighter fluid until there is nothing but ashes left.
Dean sets a course for nowhere in particular, he just starts heading west until they find another motel the next state over.
Even though he says he’s ‘fine’, Sam pretty much ignores all of Dean’s protests as he checks his brother out, binds up the ribs he’s favoring, doses him up with pain meds, and makes sure he gets into bed.
Sam is still tired and exhausted from the whole ordeal of the last few days – heck – the last few months really, but he’s too charged with adrenaline to sleep or even shut his eyes as he climbs into bed and a part of him is still afraid of what dreams may come to haunt him. He turns and looks at Dean who is also still fully awake, wearing a weary expression on his face, and looking as much like a piece of crap on the bottom of someone’s shoe as Sam does.
“Can’t sleep?” Sam asks.
Dean just kinda grunts in reply.
“Yeah … me neither.”
Pushing himself up onto his elbows, Sam reaches for the remote control sitting on the nightstand and flicks on the TV, mindlessly flipping through channels until the batteries in the remote seem to die and leaves it stuck on a movie.
“What the Hell is this movie?” Dean asks tiredly.
“Uh … I think it’s ‘The DaVinci Code.’” Sam replies flatly.
“Never seen it.”
They both kinda shrug, resigned to watch the movie because both of them are too tired get up and change the channel, but too wound up to sleep.
Ten minutes into watching the most boring Tom Hanks movie ever made and neither one of them can keep their eyes open any longer and they both fall into a deep and dreamless sleep.
And yes, they both snore … loudly.The End