Long Time ComingRemix Author: spastic_visionsOriginal Story: Hunting for a HunterOriginal Author: meredevachonRating:
For a long time, all you can see is white.Warnings:
Spoilers through Jus en Bello
For a long time, all you can see is white.
The hospital walls are white and the nurses' uniforms are white and the bandages on your arms, coating your head, covering your skin, it's all white too. It's supposed to be sterile and safe and clean but all you can think of is a girl with white eyes and the blinding white light that seared into your very soul.
You're not sure if you're better or worse then you were when you started.xxxxxxxxxx
For a long time, all you can hear is the bubbling laughter of a little girl. It echoes in the distant catacombs of your mind, a sound that won't be exorcised (Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas--) no matter what you do.
You think you might be screaming but no one can hear you and no one tells you anything except, "We found you in Manitou Springs. You're lucky to be alive. Not much got out of that explosion intact."
"Explosion?" you say, ignoring the little girl giggling in your ears. Your voice sounds funny. Either too loud or too soft, the timber changed because of smoke inhalation.
"You don't remember?"
You remember the explosion. You remember the way Nancy's face paled in realization. You remember the girl with the white eyes and the white light and the way the scene tore at you, ripping you apart from the inside out.
"No," you lie. "No, not at all."
The nurse frowns and jots something down on her chart. Times past, you wouldn't have liked that. You wouldn't have wanted the blemish on an otherwise flawless record, but any way you slice it, amnesia is preferable to psychosis. (Demons are real.)
"What's your name?"
(Sam and Dean Winchester were in the chopper when it caught on fire. Nothing's left. Can't even identify them. Rest in peace, guys.)
Dead's a better cover than aliases could ever be. Just ask Dean Winchester. "I don't remember."xxxxxxxxxx
For a long time, it hurts to move. You're not sure what that thing (demons are real) did to you, but it left you a little bit broken. You sneak a look at your chart seen the laundry list of burns and lacerations and broken bones. It's more then a month before you take a real look at yourself in the mirror, and you know the man you see isn't Victor Henriksen. (FBI agent Victor Henriksen died in that fire along with--)
You check yourself out of the hospital against medical advice, limping on your busted knee, thinking about demons and the white light and how FBI agent Henriksen would have arrested you six times over for stealing a car.xxxxxxxxxx
For a long time, all you can find is a trail of corpses.
It's an old habit dying hard. Go to where the blood was spilled. Criminals always do return to the scene of the crime after all. (Dean Winchester was never in the same place twice. But then again, Dean Winchester wasn't a criminal, was he?)
You find yourself retracing their steps, retracing your own steps. There's a witness in Toledo, Ohio (the one with the eyes, Agent Henriksen chimes in, one of the really fucking weird ones) who shows him the back of a mirror where a handprint and a name stands out clear. Winchester's victim in St. Louis, Rebecca Warren tells him a story about a shape shifter and a fight (supposedly everyone has a twin out there somewhere, Agent Henriksen says, That Winchester's double was just an unlucky bastard.)
There are stories everywhere, the stories you never heard before, the stories you'd never listened to (Damn fools charmed by smiles and pretty faces, insists Henriksen, Those Winchester boys breed destruction everywhere they go.)
There's a whole world here, dark and different, and you're not sure if you can ever go back to the old one. So the hunt for the Winchester boys twists and changes and suddenly it's just the hunt. Because there are people in trouble, people you can actually save. (Sure as hell beats desk work.)
And along the way, you stop counting the ways you've broken the laws. You start collecting weapons in the bed of that stolen truck of yours, silver and shotguns and salt. You start looking into demons, for any sign of a little girl (you still hear the laugher ringing in your ears) with white eyes, jotting down notes on the Rituale Romanum and how to make holy water and you try not to think of your own head drowning in a jail cell's toilet (--omnis incursio. Infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio, et secta diabolica--) and the feel of the gun smoking in your hands. (It was like sleeping and being awake all at once.)
You find the symbols the Winchester brothers had inked into their skin, protection from demons (too late for the sheriff) and find yourself in a tattoo parlor with your notes clutched in one hand and limp back out with a bandage over your other.
The leg isn't healing. It aches when it rains and collapses when you forget about it and it almost gets you mauled by a black dog except you've got a spare knife in your boots and instincts honed by years on the force. (Not on the force anymore, Agent Henriksen reminds you bitterly, at this point, you'd be lucky if they haven't started looking for you.)
The Winchesters are out there somewhere. You don't quite understand that burning need to find them. Maybe it's because they took the demon out of you (--Perditionis venenum propinare. Vade, satana, inventor et magister omnis fallaciae hostis humanae salutis--), or maybe it's because the last time you saw Dean Winchester was first time the world had really made sense. (Sign me up for that big mug of wasted my damn life.)
Demons are real and demons are evil and you wonder how many people you put away because of things wearing decent people's bodies like suits. xxxxxxxxxx
For a long time, all you can find are questions. You're swinging cross the country with a growing arsenal in your trunk and each and every hunt etched into a thick leather-bound notebook, because federal bureaucracy is not a habit easily broken. You memorize the exorcism (--Humiliare sub potenti manu dei, contremisce et effuge, invocato a nobis sancto--), apply for a credit card with someone else's information and dodge the cops coming in and out of towns.
You spent years tracking the Winchesters. You know their habits, their tendencies. You know about the bizarre motels and the backwater towns, the hunts and the monsters. This was easier when you had a taskforce behind your back, when you had federal funding and a command center instead of a single battered jacket, an out of date badge that looks fake to your own eyes. (Among the deceased, at least six police officers and staff including Sheriff Melvin Dodd, Deputy Phil Amichi and secretary Nancy Fitzgerald as well as three FBI agents identified as Stephen Groves, Calvin Reidy and Victor Henriksen...)
There's a network of hunters out there, spanning the country in back alleys and run down bars. They're a suspicious bunch that doesn't take well to strangers. They greet you with Christo and tell you to back the hell off their hunt. They've got their stories-- like Mary Winchester burned up on the ceiling, John Stevenson, the lone survivor of a cult ritual and of course, FBI agent Victor Henriksen getting himself blown to bits only to stand back up--every one of them different and every one of them tragic. There are children possessed by demons (--Et terribili nomine, quem inferi tremunt. Ab insidiis diaboli, libera nos, domine--) and families blown to pieces.
They all know the Winchesters. Not personally but they all know them. They are the tall tales of the hunter world, shrouded in mystery and dipped in pain. You hear doubts about Sam's humanity and rumors about Dean's death but no one knows for sure. xxxxxxxxxx
For a long time, all you dream about is death. Something's changed inside you and when you close your eyes at night, you see little girls in blood-caked dresses and Dean Winchester screaming as something tears him apart. You're waiting for your answers but you're starting to think you won't actually get them.
Then one night in Nevada, in a town that reeks of booze and sulfur, you find yourself listening in on a pair of rednecks talking about hunting a yeti and you hear a name that sparks something in your mind. A demon expert. Bobby Singer.xxxxxxxxxx
For a long time you can't bring yourself to knock. You've been on the road for almost a year and you're not used to this anymore. You have problems talking to hunters because you keep flashing back to talking to perps and hunters on the whole don't take well to law enforcement. But this is the only lead you've had in months.
The door opens before you can knock a man with a scraggly beard and a dirty hat frowns in your direction. "Can I help you with something?"
"Are you Mr. Singer?"
Bobby Singer is an unimpressive man with a stocky build and weathered face and two squinty eyes that peer out over ruddy cheeks. When he speaks, he's guarded and gruff and everything about him screams junkyard owner and not demon expert. "Can I help you with something?"
"A de-" You swallow, knowing you're going to sound crazy if you've got the wrong guy. There's nothing like talk of exorcisms (--Ut ecclesiam tuam secura tibi facias libertate servire, te rogamus, audi nos--) to make even the sanest person sound like they need a padded room. "A something that wants to kill Sam and Dean Winchester let me live, and I don't know why. Word has it you're the man to come to about this sort of thing."
Bobby blinks twice, hovering in the doorway, and you think of the stories and the dreams. You think of a little girl with blood on her dress and Dean screaming as something ripped him apart. You think of the hunters looking to kill Sam and demons with their heads thrown backward vomiting black smoke. (--Te rogamus audi Dominicos sanctae ecclesiae. Terogamus audi nos!) Bobby holds your gaze for a long moment and then steps aside to let you past.
You smile for the first time since you woke up in the hospital.xxxxxxxxxx
For a long time, it feels like this is all a dream.
Then you find the Winchesters again and it's a little like waking up.