Genre: gen, horror, outsider POV, the distant relative of a 9x18 tag
Characters: outsider narrator, his family, Dean, Sam
Concepts: 2x03's crossbow story, Purgatory, 9x11's "If your Daddy could see you now"
Word Count: ~1100
Summary: When the Winchesters track down Heaven's back door, the whole world echoes with the sound of that thunder.
Notes: The distant relative of a proper response to this prompt, at biketest's S9 Dean-centric comment!meme, which rocks my world: "As Dean spends more time apart from the blade since holding it for the first time, he begins to notice his moodiness and amped up aggression, but can't ever seem to do anything about it. And then he goes a little too far while on a case..." Original, unedited version posted here. Title from Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," of course.
There's a rumor flown up around the South Central, lots of rolling heads and not a lot of fangs or claws. Monsters these days are difficult to pick out--we're getting to those days when you can't tell one from human one way or the other. Not when you're working with the bodies all mangled up. Hunters been crying Apocalypse for years now, and with the number of ashy wings burned into the ground these days, I reckon there's either something to it, or we're dealing with the world's largest angel dust cartel. Point is, most of us don't get mixed up in that; we leave it to whoever started it, because I'm a man of God and I'll kill a wraith, hell, a horde of 'em if I have to, but I'm not looking to sully my faith. There's some of us that need it--and some of us not keen on giving the lie to holy water, hallowed ground. Maybe it's chump change but these things save lives, and that's the business we're in, ain't it? That's the business I been in must be almost twenty years now, since Winchester came to town with his kids and his crossbows.
I'm not too good with the whole temporal extrapolation thing; they've got software for that--stuff of miracles--and if I ain't seen a man in twenty years, as far as I'm concerned it's like meeting a whole 'nother man. But these two walk in and it's a little shock to the system. It's the same car, gotta be, because you don't see many of them on the road anymore--at least, not with so much road in them. She's got a plague of locusts in her grill and mud and mulch shocked across her front. She ain't pretty, but she's been driving, that's for damn sure.
The boys must be older than their old man when I met him, or thereabouts. I don't remember the math exactly, but they got none of his charm and all of his tells--a string of bad years will do that to you. Anyhow, they find my back exits right off and I catch the nod between them, let's 'em both know they know I'm packing. They don't recognize me, so I guess I didn't make much of an impression--or that impression's been ground down, rolled out, and full-on buried. But it's for the best. There's red in their eyes and black under their fingernails. Tender skin under their eyes sand long creases fanning out. But it's the silence, mostly. There's a look people get when there's only ten, thirty percent of them in the room; I learned it from my wife, our daughters, as they left me each month. Twenty years and I can sniff that out pretty quick.
It goes south quicker. "Doc, you got a lot of silver hanging around in here. Business must be pretty good," says the one in front.
I say, "We do all right."
"What I can't figure is why a veterinarian would need a bunch of silver cages in his basement. Something tells me your clientele don't care what your kennel's made of long as it holds. So is it a vanity thing?"
Before I can answer, the taller one steps forward. "We know about Nicole."
There's a flutter in my heart, some cold hope sliding over the instant dread, because they don't mention Kate or Rina. At least they don't mention Kate or Rina. "My Nicole's a woman of God," I stammer. "First and foremost."
The older one--what's his name, both their names, I don't remember. But they were the kind of names you yell. The kind of name that carries distances, rips out of your body. They're names you know you're gonna have to scream.
The older one says, "We know she is, Doc. And trust me, that doesn't help your case." See, Heaven's had a couple new sheriffs in town, he continues, and Nicole, well.
She's a monster. She's got no business in Heaven. "But hear tell she knows where the back door is."
"She'll give you anything you need to know," I answer instantly, and am met with laughter (humorless). Because, see, she didn't. The only thing Nicole let slip was, there ain't secrets between you two. The first one draws a great silver knife, still blood tarnished (it's been wiped, but there's a dull smear, there's--) and lets me look.
"So now you're gonna tell us where that back door is."
"You will." He's found a different door before, he says. There's not a lot he didn't do to track that down. There's plenty more he's got no problem doing this time. "See, we know about Kate and Rina. Nicole's mistake."
And maybe they're not who I thought they were, because this ain't right. This can't be right. I'd know those boys, I'd known their father, and this can't be, they couldn't, they'd never. I remembered a nervous boy, missing his prom for a date with a crossbow in a forest, committing this father's encyclopedia of "werewolf" to memory. A little wide-eyed, eager to please. Mostly professional. Watchful of his father's and his brother's backs, and wary of the potential for disaster. He'd come back deeply thoughtful, and very proud. But it's been a long time since then.
"John Winchester, he--" I try anyway. "We had an arrangement. My family, I'd--" I sputter about the book, Nicole's spellwork, her guardianship. I tell them everything, because Kate. Because Rina. My baby girls. They are everything, and Heaven was just gonna have to settle for second-tier, because--because Kate, because Rina. "My family, I--"
"Not anymore," he growls, that boy who's outgrown his crossbow. "Sam."
Sam, that was his name. Had it been? Because these two, they can't be. They can't be.
A moment of indecision, mistrust, reticent concern, and Sam leaves.
"Don't let him fool you. He's not good cop," says the remaining son. "He'd kill werewolves just as soon as I do."
I stop shaking long enough to hiss four words. They halt, and I stutter, but I've meant anything so mean so bad. "You don't deserve Heaven."
"You have no idea. See,"--and the knife hadn't just been tell-by-show. He draws it up over my heart, then glides it over my neck. "Sam wanted to let you live. Because you're human."
But you married a werewolf, Bill. You fell in love with a girl and she got turned, and you married a werewolf, Bill. You had her children. You covered their kills. You're the veterinarian, Bill, and every month you let all those animals go down for chow time, didn't you. You thought, he he rasps, scraping the bottom of his register, throaty, choked with blood-rust, that family changed the rules at all.
I don't see the knife, but I feel my body crumple. I listen to his boots diminish, and I hear two screams, and then two shots. My girls scream "Dean!"
That's his name.
Dean, I'd said. You grow up good, you hear?
That's a name we'll all be screaming soon.