I saw this gif before I'd actually seen 14x09, and, because I am an idiot, started writing fic about this gif instead of just watching 14x09. Then I watched 14x09 and finished fic. For some reason I thought this fic was going to be funny? Like, dark humor, but humor nonetheless. It's not, though; it's 0% funny and in retrospect I don't know why I thought it would be. Shows what I know!!!
Title Lake Effect
Genre: 14x09 "The Spear" tag, stream of consciousness/second-person POV, hurt/comfort
Characters: Dean (POV), Michael
Rating: PG-13. TW: alcohol abuse, abuse of alcohol abuse
Word Count: ~2100
Summary: "Dean," Michael interrupts. "You're my sword. You will always be my weapon of choice."
Even when Dean's the target.
Sam probably imagined a lake.
That's the first thing you think. When you talked about drowning, Sam probably imagined a lake, or an ocean or river or something like that. But when you're holding the spear and Michael's in front of you and then suddenly you catch that flicker of wood, the bar, you know exactly where you are. And it's not a lake. It hits you fast, trying to decide where your fingers end and the way you're so good at staying upright when the floor moves and your head is so full full of whiskey and you're not gonna spill a drop because you're just not like that and you are
"Welcome home," you say to yourself.
You're bartending. The bar is tending you. There're mirrors involved. It's a whole thing.
You're so glad Sam imagined a lake.
You're here because there's hundreds, maybe thousands of taps. People talk about hops here, and the best barrels for aging, the best wood, and whether anise should be mixed with cognac or not. You can order things in flights and you're supposed to taste your liquor when you drink it here, and everyone has far deeper pockets than you. You know that tonight you're ending up in a bar and that's non-negotiable but you choose this one you chose this one you drove clear to Kansas City for this one--this one--because its whole vibe really ain't you and the you you are is gonna kill yourself like this one day. That's why Kansas City. That's why here.
Here they'll stop you. When your credit card runs dry, your conversation. They might take your keys. They might cut you off before you get to where you will be going because they care about how this looks even if you don't (you do you think you do you're here, are you? you've thought this through you're smart you absolutely can't do shit about this). Their clients don't end up dead in drainage ditches. Not ever.
You're tending the bar. You serve yourself another.
You drove to Kansas City for this.
You know you're going to a bar so you go classy, you go Kansas City, because maybe they'll stop you. Maybe they'll save you.
Some people pay for cabs, for silent security systems. It's paying for convenience, or protection or something, and you're no different. It's a really nice bar, in the basement of Hitomi Plaza. Maybe they'll save you, so you don't have to save yourself. Sometimes you think that god, you're fucking stupid, but it is what it is.
Sam can't help you. Can't wrap his brain around it, not really. He knows you're not this stupid. He knows how your brain works and what you're capable of and probably, to the fucking ounce, how much self control you have. He trusts you, is the problem.
You'd never do that to him.
He's right. This isn't you, except when it is. That scares you.
Sam trusts you. He turns up his cup, feels his way to bed, because he trusts you. Besides, Cas is there. Cas, who turns your fingers pink again when they start creeping blue. He doesn't think much of it, just fixes the problem and lets you drink. You know what you're doing--you have plans for tomorrow and today's plans were clear, too: Get skunked. It's not like you didn't mean to be here; you're in control, and they trust you. Jack's dead. There's a logic to this. When Cas leaves you--he has his own ways of mourning as yet unattended to--you are breathing, so you're fine.
You look down at your hands, pink, and you figure Cas gave you a little more time down here. So you drink and you drink and drink until it's probably 50/50 you waking up okay on the other end and you keep fucking going because given the shit you've pulled lately, you like your odds. It's not even that you're so much more upset than anyone else or that this is helping at all. You're just drinking to drink and it's not even that you don't know you're fingers away from really fucking up, probably, or even that you don't care. You don't have a deathwish. You just stop existing, maybe, and cease to be a consideration. And here's your own body, carrying on without you. He is drowning you.
You wake up.
"Hey," is all Sam says to you as he hands you a sponge. You put the bottles away somewhere. The glasses are under the sink. The table is sticky and it's about to send you over the edge not knowing what to do about it even though you made it through that entire fucking conversation about souls and eyepatch lady and fuuuuck all, honestly.
Sam's embarrassed about having called her. He thinks you're judging him. Really you're thinking how the top half of your skull's going to slide off it hurts and then you're going to hurl and you're going to drown.
"Where's Cas?" you ask. You need him.
"I like this place," says Michael. "No clamor. It's just you in here, isn't it?"
Michael drags his finger through a halo of condensation, beaded against dark smooth wood. There aren't more details because there can't be, you've never looked that hard. It's the bar at Hitomi Plaza. That's all you and he need to know.
"Sloppy seconds are so… untidy."
You want to tell him so are dramatic pauses like that, but you're liquor all the way down. Open the floodgates and your legs will spill away. You don't know what will happen to your mouth. You had to shove a tooth back in once, after some bar, some fist. Hope the roots would take and it'd go back to its business. You don't remember much else except you couldn't feel your knuckles your mouth hurt so bad. You could see them, though--to the bone.
Michael talks about Alastair, Amara. Cain. Things that have already had their way with you. You'd tell him you're working your way down, phonebook style, because yes, your plan is to get fucked by every damn thing. M's a ways down, though, so Michael will probably have to wait. But you can't because your tooth will fall out, won't it? If you speak.
No it won't. That's a memory. Hitomi Plaza is a memory, too.
"You don't like these, do you," says Michael, of memories. "You want things to be different."
You've spent your whole life wanting things to be the same. To go back to being the same, because things can only get worse.
"Don't blame this on your father," says Michael, abruptly. Before you can realize you're blaming John for anything, Michael adds, "And not her, either."
Michael serves you another drink.
"I didn't give that to you," says Michael. "That was you."
You're the child of an alcoholic, who was the child of an alcoholic.
You've never blamed him for this, though. That seems a little whiny, maybe beside the point. You did go to Hell because your father is an obsessed bastard, but you figure, hell. What else were you going to do? You could have let Sam save you long ago, back when he could. And see, that's the thing. You don't have a drinking problem now. Not like before, you don't think. Maybe. You're pretty leveled-out right now, and all things considered, you're doing pretty good. When you were 23 you got picked up on a 647 and ended up with a 5150 and you're not even sure that had to do with the alcohol or the monsters. Then you had Sam and either you were celebrating with beer or suffering dry--because Sam was there--but then he was dead in your arms and things just kind of went after that. You were drunk your first time at 11. You only remember feeling sick when he'd died again, because Lisa was there and Lisa is an alcoholic even though she'd never drunk a drop since Ben was swimming inside her. It took one to know one and Lisa was pretty taken with you. She's the one who'd talked about that feeling--how after denial came the separation, the feeling like you and drunk you might be different people after all and drunk you is either a stranger or your very best friend, depending on the day. That's what she called it--"the separation." But then--something else. You'd had a thought. It swam away. Lisa's gone, anyway, so it doesn't really matter. And there was that woman, with the wrestlers; Rio; the one Sam had the poster of; Sam has his problems too you know; you know that you are powerless--
"Where were you going with this, Dean?" Michael asks.
He wants to make you feel stupid. Like you can't tell your own story. Like you're not in control.
You don't need his help.
"You already asked me for help," Michael reminds you.
Remember? Flying through the air like a moron. Blade through Nick's chest (where the fuck is Nick?).
"Why're you doing this," you ask him, because you're tired of fighting but asking questions feels less like surrender than silence does.
"It's interesting," he tells you.
"It's really not."
Michael smiles. You know he agrees with you. You know how stupid a story this is. You can regret whatever you want, all you want, but if there's one thing you are stupefyingly morally shamed by, it's how helpless you get when it comes to drowning. You mean drinking. You stop being you and become another thing entirely.
That's the bit that Michael thinks is interesting.
"How's that not sloppy seconds?" you ask. Seems lazy, just piggybacking off your own dysfunction and not devising his own mindfuck. How's a guy supposed to go create a better world if he's just copying your notes? No one in the history of the world has ever copied your notes. Of course, it would have helped if you'd taken any. (The vetala thing. You should have written that down. And the--)
"Dean," Michael interrupts. "You're my sword. You will always be my weapon of choice."
How long did you resist the Mark? Months? A fucking year? How long did you survive in Purgatory? In Hell? And honestly, even balls-deep in demonic energy, there was always as part of you that always felt like you.
You can probably make it eight hours without a drink. Maybe twelve if you really try, but you rarely do. And that's with the promise of a real drink once the job is done.
Eight hours. That's only halfway through all the Hatchet Man movies. That's how long it'll take to do the Impala's brakes and shocks and rusted fucking ball joints. That's how long it takes to get to Kansas City and back.
"Oh, Dean," says Michael. "You're not coming back."
Sam probably imagined a lake, or at least a swimming pool. You've been mostly deferring to Sam about things lately, anyway, so you don't think about Kansas City until you're there, you don't think about Hitomi Plaza. You've been there before. Sam thanks nothing of the fact you know where the stairs in the parking garage are, know the difference between B1 and fucking Bs 2, 3, 4. That the south stairwell is commercial, for the bars and restaurants and spas and whatever and the north one is how to get to things like offices and penthouses. You've always been good at maps and patterns.
You should see this one coming, but you don't. Maybe you've been trying so hard to stay positive you can't recognize reality anymore. In your defense, Sam and Cas fucking went for it, too--blind leading blind. You're not sure which one of you is leading.
"I'll give you four guesses," says Michael. "You've wasted your first three."
Not one of you asks why Hitomi Plaza. Why Kansas City.
"Do you remember the first time you came here?" Michael asks.
Drove all night to Kansas City. Knew you were headed to a bar, had an inkling you should at least try to come back. Thought maybe they might stop you (save you). You walk through the doors, which are heavy. Like they're asking if you really want to be there. You order the cheap whiskey first. You want to get saved but you still want to get drunk. You're pouring it yourself before you realize that that's weird.
"I had them killed," Michael explains. When you look down you see the bartender, the patrons. They're all dead.
You've never been here before. You're not really here now. This is your body, carrying on without you.
"Think of it as a kindness," says Michael. "You didn't want memories, so I let you see the future."
This is your first time in Hitomi Plaza, and it's not here to save you.
"What is it that he used to say?" asks Michael.
"Ah, yes," he says.
You will always end up here.