A Supernatural Fanfic
by Laurel (Sailorhathor)
Chapters: One-shot, may become a series (like I need another... damn muses)
Rating: Parental supervision suggested for those under 13 for adult language
Dates: Written January 2007
Word Count: 3,540
Summary: Sam wants to know what their father told Dean before he died. The truth is far worse than he ever could have imagined.
Timeline: Takes place after the end of "Croatoan."
Warning: Spoilers for "In My Time of Dying" and the end of "Croatoan."
Betas: Beta'ed by KaijaWest and Meredevachon. Thanks you guys!
Author's Notes: Many people seem to think that Sam is The Demon's child and not John's. I pretty much hate this idea. So I wrote another possibility. I doubt this is exactly what Kripke will do, but I'd like it if it was closer to something like this.
This idea was originally a little less elaborate than it turned out to be here, but once the muses got a hold of it, it was out of my hands.
Precognition is the psychic ability to see the future, usually in visions. Pyrokinesis is the psychic ability to spontaneously create fire with the power of the mind.
"Dean, what did Dad tell you?" Sam asked.
In the time that it took him to take a deep breath, Dean remembered.
Dad had been acting so strange, saying things he just didn't say. The kind of things a person said only when his son had reached a milestone, or when you were going away for a long time. Maybe what you'd say before an apocalypse, although Dean had never seen one.
Or when you were dying.
He had no idea what to expect when his father leaned down, his hand on Dean's shoulder, and began to whisper in his ear. If he could have seen his own face at that moment, Dean would have been surprised at how scared, uncertain, and childlike his expression had been in anticipation of what his father was about to say.
It had to be something horrible for Dad to tell him all those out-of-character things that made him feel all weird inside.
Dean rarely acknowledged the burdens that had been put on him when he was a child. To have his father acknowledge them out loud... he wasn't even sure how to process that.
What Dad whispered in his ear would prove to be even harder to believe.
"Dean... I've been keeping a second journal. I've never told you or Sam about it because the things written in it are so personal to all of us. It's full of theories about The Demon and his plans for the world. What The Demon said was true - he does have plans for Sam and other people like him. You need to read this journal, Dean. You can find it in a locker at the main bus station in Sacramento, California. Bobby knows where the key is. Get it. You need to know the truth if you're going to protect the world. And Sammy. Once you read my second journal, you'll know what to do. You have to be strong and do it on your own.
"If Sam knew the full story, it would destroy him, Dean. It would destroy him. He must never know. You'll understand once you read the journal. Promise me that you'll never tell him what that journal says. Sammy couldn't take it.
Dean stared at his father in shock for several long seconds before simply replying, "You have my word."
Once Dean had finally maneuvered himself and Sam in the vicinity of Sacramento by picking a haunting case not far from there, Dean stole over to the bus station without Sam's knowledge and, sure enough, just as his father had said, the journal was there, tucked away in a dusty locker. Dean waited until Sammy fell asleep and then read the journal. His eyes grew bigger and his expression more disturbed with every page he turned. Why had Dad ever thought Dean would know what to do with this knowledge? He couldn't even fathom it. The weight that put on his shoulders, just knowing that his father had thought he would know exactly how to use the information contained in that journal... Dean wished Dad was here now, to tell him the right thing to do. When he was done, he understood why his father had kept these explosive truths a secret, and why this knowledge could destroy his little brother.
What Dean didn't understand then was how much the knowledge would destroy him, just by keeping it all bottled up inside.
Now, it all spilled out, because despite the promise he'd made their father, Dean could keep it in no longer. A part of him felt Sammy had the right to know anyway. "Now, if I tell you, I want you to promise me you won't just completely freak out."
Sam made a scoffing sound. "I can't promise a thing like that until you tell me what it's all about."
"Sammy, I don't want you to blame yourself and do that guilt thing you're so good at."
Frustrated, Sam growled, "Dean..."
"Alright, geez." Dean paused, figuring out a place to start. He fidgeted with his hands in his pockets. "Dad told me that he had been keeping a second journal. And he told me where it was. Everything in it was about you and The Demon's plans for people like you."
"A second journal? He kept it secret?"
Dean nodded. "Dad used the journal to write out all his wilder theories, or at least they seem pretty wild when you first read them. But I did some research, and they check out."
"You? Research?" Sam half-joked.
Dean wished he could laugh, smack Sam's arm, just go on with their lives without having to tell him all this. Instead, he replied in an annoyed but playful tone, "Yeeees. I can read." Allowing himself one last roll of his eyes, Dean fell back into serious mode. "There's a lot of formal writing relating to Dad's theories. Ancient texts and stuff. He had a hunch, and he followed it to these books about the lost continent of Atlantis."
Sam's eyebrows raised skeptically. "Atlantis?"
"Yeah. It has been written in ancient texts that people in the modern day who were descended from the citizens of Atlantis would inherit their power and intelligence. Apparently, some people escaped with their lives when their society fell. Dad was pretty sure that Mom was one of these descendants. She had psychic abilities. It's in the secret journal."
Sam boggled. "Dad never told us that."
"I know, but I've sort of suspected it, ever since your precognition showed up. These things often run in families, right?" Dean said.
Sam, nodding a little, began to brood, lost in thought. Dean needed not to lose him so quickly, because there was so much more to drop on his baby brother. So much more he didn't want to tell him, but knew he needed to say. "I don't know why he didn't tell us about Mom's abilities, Sammy. Dad never explained it to me."
Curiosity brought Sam back. "Why didn't you get any of these powers?"
"Dad thought I inherited a certain instinct from her, but he couldn't be sure." Dean tried to smile, for Sam's sake. "Looks like you got most of it."
"What else did he write about these descendants?"
Ah, the million dollar question. Dean just launched right into it, hoping Sam wouldn't interrupt him too much. "Dad spent most of his time researching and writing about a theory that the Atlanteans were trying to develop their psychic powers, to make them as strong as possible. They used various techniques of honing psychic abilities. Some were successful. And I'm talking scarily successful."
"What do you mean?"
"The things they could do went far beyond their control. Some developed an ability that's like superpowered pyrokinesis. The people of Atlantis had their own name for it, but in modern times, it's been given the name Heaven's Flame. You could describe it as a supernatural fire that explodes with such force that, if concentrated, could destroy with the energy of a hydrogen bomb," explained Dean.
Sam, taking a gaspy breath, spoke in a voice weakened with shock and emotion. "Sort of like the fire that killed Mom?"
"Exactly like the fire that killed Mom. Except, that was a much weaker version. Heaven's Flame at its full power could destroy the world, Sam. That's what The Demon is after."
"So, The Demon has this ability?"
At this point, Dean realized that he had gone too far into the story to turn back. Maybe before, he could have cut it off somewhere, but now... the very nature of the secret forced him to tell Sam everything. Once Sam knew about the secret journal, he was definitely going to want to see it. If Dean refused to show it to him, Sam would just go looking for it. He couldn't stand the thought of Sammy finding that journal and reading all those horrible secrets on his own. Dean couldn't throw Dad's book away, either. It was Dad's. Besides, he might need it later. There was a cataclysmic event coming that they had to prevent.
Dean could have lied to Sam further, but he just didn't feel right about it anymore. Time was running out. He could feel it. They could run from whatever was coming, but for how long? Sam needed to know. As smart as he was, Sam would probably figure it all out on his own if he wasn't informed about what was in that journal.
If Dean didn't tell him, some demon would. Maybe The Demon. Better that it come from someone who loved Sam than an evil being. There were more logical reasons to tell Sam the whole truth than Dean could ignore, so he continued, trying to push all the reasons not to tell him into the back of his mind. Not knowing could destroy Sam more than what he was about to be told.
"No," Dean said in answer to Sam's question, shaking his head. "Remember, the Atlanteans were developing their powers. When they realized that it was all getting out of their control, the brightest thinkers were employed to figure out a way to harness these forces. They created a system where new babies born there would have a hypnotic trigger implanted in their psyches at the age of six months - "
Dean put up a hand to still him, to let him know there was more. "Six months is a very impressionable age, where children have some ability to think, but are still very pliable. It was deemed to be the prime age for putting in this control technique. Then, if someone got out of hand with their abilities and put people in danger, the hypnotic trigger could be 'activated' to sort of switch them off.
"Problem was, though, that even in an advanced society like Atlantis, there was evil. This is where our demon comes in." Scowling, Dean crossed his arms. "The Demon was one of these people who put in the hypnotic triggers. Maybe he was possessing the actual man, or this is what he was before he was The Demon... anyway, he did it in reverse. He put in triggers that would allow him to activate the psychic abilities in these people at his will, to turn the abilities on, whenever he wanted."
Sam easily began to put the pieces together. "Then The Demon's visit to my nursery when I was six months old was all about inserting this hypnotic trigger. That's what he's done to many of the people like me. He's still trying to finish whatever he started in Atlantis." There was a pause, and Sam laughed a little. "Atlantis. It sounds so far-fetched."
"I know it does. But it all checks out, Sammy. In fact, some of the texts said that this may have been the cause of the fall of Atlantis. There was a vague story of The Demon being caught at his attempts to build this 'army' of his and being ousted. So, what do you think he did?"
"He activated the powers of all the psychic kids and used them to destroy the continent," Sam replied breathlessly.
Dean nodded. "Yahtzee."
"But, hypnotic triggers aren't a guaranteed mind control agent. They can only make you do whatever's within your will."
"These aren't normal hypnotic triggers, though, Sam. They come from some really ancient supernatural magick, stuff far stronger than what we normally see. It would take a really special person to resist it. Activating this trigger, well... it's pretty much like flipping a switch," Dean lamented.
Sighing, Sam wrapped his arms around himself and looked down at the ground. "Then... this trigger is inside me right now. The Demon wants to use me and the others to start an apocalypse, and he could start it whenever he wants." He fell silent, his brow knitting in confusion. "But, how, Dean? All I do is have precognitive visions, and one incidence of telekinesis. How can you destroy the world with that?"
This would be the hardest part. "Sammy... that's not all you can do."
Sam just stared at him hard and waited for an answer.
Dean gave him one. "Dad's theory was that you and the other kids whose mothers died at the hands of The Demon had this ability of superpowered pyrokinesis. That it had been passed down to you through the bloodlines of Atlantis. The Demon is most interested in having you in his army because you have the ability to burn the world down. All he has to do is trigger it.
"Dad couldn't figure out exactly what the trigger is, but he did think it could be done without The Demon even having to be where you could see him."
Stunned, Sam shook his head stubbornly. "No. No, there's no proof of that. If I could do something like that, wouldn't there be a sign?"
Dean paused for an uncomfortably long time. He looked down at his feet, hugging his elbows in his hands and biting at his lip. When he finally looked up and spoke again, his voice was quiet and raspy from emotion. "We do have proof. The Demon has already tested the trigger, and your ability to produce Heaven's Flame. He's tested it before.
Finally breaking through his own denial, Sam got it. Dean would have done anything to remove the wounded puppy dog look from his brother's face at that moment. The pained eyes, the frowning mouth, the instant threat of tears. Sam's mouth worked for something to say, pathetic, brief whimpers coming out instead. "Then... then I..."
"Please don't make me say it, Sammy," Dean choked.
Sam made a howly grunting noise. "You're saying... you tell me what you're saying!" His voice was angry and full of the tears about to flow. "I didn't... no!"
Dean swallowed down a heavy lump of emotion. "Sammy... The Demon used you. You're not responsible."
Tears instantly sprang to Dean's own eyes in reaction to the building hysteria and grief in Sam's voice. He struggled to hold them back. "The Demon triggered you both times. Your ability to create Heaven's Flame is what killed Mom and Jess."
Sam stood there, rocking back and forth on his feet, his hands balling into fists. His breath came in angry gasps. Face crumpling, the tears rolled from his eyes and down his face. "The Demon didn't burn them up. I did?"
Dean, his voice shaking, repeated, "You're not responsible. You had a trigger inserted in your mind when you were a baby, Sammy. You can't resist that trigger. No one can. You didn't even know you were doing it."
Denial tried to kick in again. "No. Where is this journal? I want to read it. I want to read it all for myself."
Desperately needing to soothe Sam's hurt, Dean made him a promise he wasn't even sure he could keep. "Sam, I swear, we'll find a way to remove the trigger. It's magick; we deal with that kind of thing all the time. We'll find a way to take it out and - "
"Where is the journal?!" Sam yelled.
Dean understood. Sam had to see it for himself. "Follow me. I'll get it."
He had to practically disassemble the trunk to get it out, removing the partitions and weapons while Sam grew more and more impatient. The journal was hidden in the compartment that held the spare tire, wrapped up in several layers of newspaper.
"Did you think I'd never find it there?" Sam asked in a derisive tone.
Shrugging, Dean said, "I hoped I could find a way to tell you before you stumbled on it." He held the journal out. "Here."
Sam looked at the small spiral-bound book in Dean's hand like it might bite him if he touched it. He quickly shook it off, however, and took the book from his brother's hands. Sam leaned against the trunk of the Impala to read it. While he read, Dean waited in tense silence. Sam flipped the pages back and forth at times, his eyebrows dipping in confusion and frustration; after only a few minutes, his expression showed that he had found the section of the journal about what seemed to have happened to Mary and Jess. Sam's eyes filled with pain. His face rippled with emotion fighting to come out.
Then, Sam suddenly looked angry again, with that labored, hysterical breathing. "Why does Dad have to be so long-winded and hard to follow? I don't know how we ever make heads or tails out of his fucking entries in these fucking journals!" Sam held the pages of the journal like he was going to rip some of them out. Before Dean could stop him, he stopped himself, holding the pages in his hand, still, just panting, his bottom lip quivering. No matter what those pages said, Sam couldn't do it. He couldn't destroy something that belonged to his father. Not anymore.
Dean tentatively reached out to stroke Sam's arm. "Sammy..."
Sam finally let the journal go, throwing it to the ground. "Why is this my life, Dean? I didn't do anything wrong. I never felt a thing! I made this Heaven's whatever stuff and burned my girlfriend alive, and I never felt a thing! However this trigger is carried out, I'd never know when it was coming. It could happen again at any time. I'm too dangerous to be alive, Dean!"
Dean shook his head. "Don't talk like that. I told you, we'll find a way to remove - "
"I didn't mean to do it!" Sam began to cry again as he yelled, "I didn't mean any of it!"
"Of course you didn't, Sam; this wasn't even your doing. The Demon did it. All the blame is on his shoulders, not yours." Dean now put his hands on Sam's shoulders in an attempt to ground him.
"I murdered my mother! I murdered Jess!" he sobbed.
"NO! Sam, you're not to blame! I don't care how many times I have to say it - you are not to blame!"
Sam's sobs turned to wails as he looked up at the sky, as if he could find his answers written in the clouds and stars beyond. "Oh God, Dean... oh God..."
Dean finally just pulled his brother close and hugged him. "Let it out, Sammy. It's alright."
"How... how can this... it can't be real!"
Dean felt all of Sam's weight sinking to the ground. When Sam's legs buckled, Dean just went with him, and they both sat down hard behind the Impala, in the cool grass. Dean felt Sam's arms go around him before they held on tightly, Sam grasping handfuls of Dean's shirt. Dean guided his brother's head onto his shoulder and cradled it, stroking his hair. Sam wailed forlornly into his shoulder.
"I didn't mean it, I didn't mean it, I didn't mean it..." Sam cried over and over between heavy sobs.
Dean stroked his back with his other hand. "It's alright. It's not your fault. We'll fix it. It's not your fault."
Dean didn't know how long they sat like that, Sam wailing and Dean comforting him, but as they did, he wondered how this day could have gone so quickly from being a relaxing afternoon drinking beer by the river to Sammy believing that he had murdered his own mother and the woman he loved. Dean would walk through Hell to fix it. It's what he did.
Still, as he listened to the agony pouring jaggedly out of his baby brother, knowing there was only so much he could do to soothe him, Dean wished they could just go back to planning their vacation from all this. But everything had changed.
There would be no Grand Canyons for either of them for a long time.
Hidden Journal (c) 2007 Demented Stuff
Supernatural (c) 2005+ Kripke Enterprises, Wonderland, & Warner Brothers/The CW Television
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