What Should Never Be
Dean could not believe what was happening. His mother was alive, Jess was alive, Sam was in school like he wanted- everything was exactly how it should. It didn't make any sense, but it was perfect, and Dean wished that that was enough.
He knew deep down that this couldn't be real- could it? This was some kind of monsters trick. It had to be an illusion.
But at the same time that his skeptic mind was doubting this reality, the rest of him desperately wanted it to be real. He may have just been some drunk mechanic whose brother didn't even know him- or want to know him, for that matter, but everyone he cared about was happy. And if they were happy, he was happy.
It wasn't until he saw the half-dead girl appear and disappear before him that even that part of his mind had to admit that everything was wrong.
It must have been a Djinn, it was obvious at this point. It had granted him his unspoken wish: for his mother to live. Now he was in what he assumed was some parallel universe where she had lived.
So his mother was alive, but that meant the Winchesters had never become hunters. Anyone they had ever saved had died instead. Dean didn't think that he could live with that.
He knew he had to figure out who the hell that girl that was following him was- and reverse what the Djinn had done, as much as he'd like to stay. But he could hear his fathers voice in his head: "You're happiness for all those peoples lives- no contest."
He's right... Dean thought. I have to do this...
Deans heart was pounding as he and his apple-pie-brother creeped quietly down the stairs of a high-price hotel. He was sure that this was the same one he had been in when the Djinn attacked him, and he hoped that the Djinn would still be there. He hadn't wanted to take Sam, who was all but useless in this state, but he had insisted.
"Dean," Sam spoke in a harsh whisper. "This is crazy. Someone's gonna catch us down here and call the cops!"
"Shh!" Dean peered around the corner at the bottom of the stairs. The basement was dark and eerily quiet. It barely looked in better condition than when the whole place was zombie infested. "Keep your voice down."
"Holy shit," A they entered the room, half a dozen bodies hung from the ceiling. Each one strung up and hooked up to an IV. One girl, hanging from a rope in the middle of the basement, seemed to be alive. She looked terrible, like she was dying, and she was staring straight ahead. The IV was poked into her soft skin, and was draining blood out of her. Dean immediately ran over to her, holding her head in his hands. He took her pulse. "It's her."
"Dean, what's going on?" Sam grabbed his brothers arm.
"Shh! Come here!" Dean pulled Sam behind a wall, and watched the Djinn stalk into the room. It went over to the girl, who whimpered as he came closer.
She doesn't know where she is... Dean noted to himself. He watched in disgust as it unplugged the IV bag and squirted her blood into it's mouth. He willed his increasingly-frightened brother to stay silent as it wandered back upstairs-presumably to another hideout.
"This is real?" Sam sputtered. "Your not crazy?"
Dean walked back over to the poor girl. "It's not really granting wishes," He explained, although he knew Sam was not listening. He was more worried about high-tailing it out of here. "It just makes you think it has..."
"Dude, we have to get out of here," Sam cut him off. "That... thing could come back... alright?"
"I'm just like her," Dean realized. "I'm tied up somewhere in this place. None of this is real. It's all in my head."
"Okay, okay, you're right. You're not crazy- but we need to get out of here, and fast!" Sam argued, trying to drag his stubborn brother out.
Dean refused to be moved. "Your not real." He said, simply. He had known it all along...but now he was sure of it. "There's only one way to be sure." He reached into his leather jacket and pulled out the knife he had brought with him for the Djinn.
Sam's eyes went wide. He held up his hands and backed away, afraid of what his brother might do. "Whoa whoa! Hold on, Dean..."
"They say if you're about to die in a dream, you wake up." Dean held out the knife to hold off Sam. He just needed to wake up... If the Djinn had gotten to him, it could easily have gotten to the real Sam and Megan, too. He needed to warn them.
"Dean, this is not a dream. I am here, right now, with you, and you are about to kill yourself, Dean."
"No, I'm pretty sure," Dean considered it for a moment. "Like, 90% sure. But I'm sure enough."
He turned the knife toward himself, and was about to lunge it in when he heard someone else beside him. Mom?
Then, from seemingly nowhere, he was surrounded by his mother, Jess and Carmen. "Why did you have to keep digging?" Sam's face changed. He was no longer terrified, just... disappointed. "Why couldn't you just leave well enough alone. You were happy."
His mother stood in front of him. She smiled kindly and spoke with gentle care. "Put the knife down, hunny."
"You're not real. None of it is." Dean protested.
"It doesn't matter. It's still better than anything you had."
"That's not true!" Dean was startled by a new voice. He watched in confusion as Megan ran out from behind Jess. "Don't listen to them, Dean. They aren't real."
"I know you, Dean. The real you- the you who hunts evil and saves people long after the world itself ends." She came up beside his mother and pushed him aside, taking him away from his fake family. "You've done so much for so many people- don't let them trick you into thinking otherwise."
"This is everything you want," His mother argued. "We're a family again. Let's go home."
Dean's eyes darted between Megan and his mom. It was true- this was the life he had always dreamed of, but could never quite have. He wanted this normalcy- just as much, if not more, than his brother. Yet Megan was right too, he had helped a lot of people. He couldn't just throw that all away.
"Sam is back there, Dean." Megan grabbed his hand, getting his attention. "We both are. And we need you. Not just for the Djinn- we need you with us." Before he could respond, Megan stood up on her toes and put her lips against his. He felt his stomach flutter with a feeling he hadn't felt in a long time as she kissed him.
When she let go, he knew his choice had been made. He looked back at his family- at the life he was giving up- and whispered, "I'm sorry." Before shoving the blade into his chest. The last thing he saw was Megan standing in front of him as he blacked out.
"Dean?" Sam called out across the first floor hallways. He hadn't been in the lobby or the bathrooms, and he didn't seem to be in any of the room either. "Dude? Where are you?"
"He must still be in the basement," Megan shrugged. She would of thought he'd be done by now.
She followed Sam downstairs to the basement. There was barely any light at all, and she couldn't see anything. "Don't we have a flashlight or something?"
"No batteries for it." Same shrugged, pulling it out of his jacket and handing it to her. He had meant to find some in the hotel somewhere. "Shh- do you hear something?" Sam strained his ears. Someone was certainly down here- but if it was Dean, he would have said something, right?
"Dean?" Megan offered.
"Better safe than sorry," Sam whispered, taking out his gun. Megan followed suit. "Don't shoot unless you know its not Dean," Sam warned.
The two of them snuck behind one of the walls, and Sam peered through the doorway. Even in the dark, his hazel eyes immediately fell on his brother, who was hanging from the ceiling by a rope wrapped around his wrists. His face was drained of all color except dark rings around his eyes. His wrists were bleeding from the rope rubbing against his skin. His eyes were slightly open, but he was staring at nothing in particular, and seemed to be completely out of it. Across from him, there was a young girl in the same position. Both of them had tubes running from their bodies, draining blood from them.
Sam had to fight his instinct to run to Dean when he saw a man standing in the center of the room. He was pale and hairless, with blue menacing eyes and dark tattoo's running along his skin. A Djinn...
Megan brought a hand to her mouth to keep herself from making any noise. She had no idea what that thing was, but by the look on Sam's face, she figured it wasn't good. She put her hand on his shoulder momentarily to get his attention. She widened her eyes when he looked at her, and tilted her head to ask "What do we do?"
Sam willed himself to think. What he needed was a silver knife dipped in lambs blood, but that was basically impossible to get right now. I'll just have to improvise...
"On second thought, Megan... let me have that flashlight back," Megan happily obliged. "Stay here until I say so, okay?" Megan nodded. She was too scared to be of any use, anyway, she figured.
The Djinn walked up to Dean and unhooked the tube from the IV bag. He held it over his mouth, and let his blood drip into it. Megan had to look away before screaming.
Sam, however, took his distraction as an opportunity. Holding the flashlight tightly in one hand, he snuck up behind it. He was about to strike when the Djinn turned unrepentantly. He knocked the surprised Sam onto the ground, and the flashlight rolled out of his reach. Before Sam could get his bearings, the Djinn was on top of him. It held him down and reached for his face with its hand. As he did so, his eyes and hand began to glow unnaturally blue, and Sam realized what it was doing.
It's trying to do what it did to Dean. It's trying to knock me out and-
Sam's thoughts were cut off by the WHACK of the flashlight against the Djinn's head. The Djinn fell off of Sam, bringing its hands to its now bleeding head. Megan stood above him, holding the flashlight in her hands. She looked utterly shocked at her own strength. "Are you okay, Sam?"
"Yeah- give that to me," While Megan had been incredibly forceful with her hit, it wouldn't be enough to kill the damn thing. Without the silver knife, killing the Djinn would be similar to killing a zombie- you gotta bash it's brains in. Or, you know, blow it's brains out, His mind reminded him. He quickly pulled out his gun, and shot several rounds into the Djinns head. It seemed to do the trick.
Sam stood, breathing heavily. "Go...go get Dean. Make sure he's okay." He motioned to Megan. She stared at him for a second as if not comprehending, and then swiftly ran over to Dean.
"Dean? Dean!" Megan carefully untied his arms and helped him down. "Oh, God, thought we lost you."
"You almost did," Dean grumbled, half unconscious still.
Sam untied the girl and helped her down. She did not respond to his touch or voice, but she was still breathing. She needs serious medical attention. Sam thought, ruefully. More than I can give her.
Dean wrapped his arm around Megan's shoulder and she helped him to the stairwell. She was struggling under his weight, though. "Sam, I'm gonna need your help." She admitted.
"I can...i can do it-" Dean argued, not wanting all this help. He half remembered his dream if you could call it that, but he certainly remembered Megan's involvement. It wasn't really her, He reminded himself. All of it was just some supernatural acid trip. In an attempt to save his pride, he tried to pull himself away from Megan, but almost as soon as he let her go, he tumbled forward.
"Dean!" Megan clasped onto the his shirt to hold him up, but it did very little. She helped him into a sitting position on the stairs. "Jeez, Dean. Don't do that,"
Sam lied the girl on the ground gently. "Here, Megan. Can you carry her up to the first floor? Get her in a bed, and then I'll see what I can do for her."
Megan nodded, and glanced at Dean for a second before going over to her. She slid her hands underneath her and lifted the girl up. She wasn't the easiest to carry, but she was much lighter than Dean was.
Sam sat beside Dean as Megan went upstairs. He was looking him over for injuries when he realized Dean was doing the same thing to him. Idiot... I'm not the one who got caught by the Djinn!
"You okay S'mmy?" His words were slightly slurred. He had a gash on the back of his head which seemed to have stopped bleeding by now, but it left a lot of dried blood in his hair and his back. Sam realized how thin he had gotten, and wondered if he looked different too. They weren't eating as much as they used to, and they weren't sleeping as much. Even before getting attacked, Dean probably looked worse than ever.
"Yeah, Dean, I'm fine. What about you?"
Dean chuckled painfully. "Me? I'm great. Never been better!" Hen his face darkened. "Should've seen it, S'mmy."
"The Dji- Djinn. He... he made up this whole world in my head. He gr'nted me a wish- that Mom liv'd." Dean thought about what he had seen. He wised to God that's how his life really was- but it was all a lie. None of it was real. The Djinn didn't grant any wishes. He simply gave Dean the opportunity to write his own story, but that's all it was: a story.
Sam stayed silent, so Dean continued. "We didn't get along... i guess without hunting... but you were so happy. You had Jess..."
Sam didn't like the look on Deans face. He couldn't quite tell what it was...longing? Regret? Did he regret waking up? "But it wasn't real, Dean." He reminded him.
"Yeah... I know. But... it was great."
"Come on, Dean." Sam stood and held out his hand. "Let's go. I have to try and help that girl." Thankfully, Dean accepted his brothers hand and forced himself to stand.
He allowed Sam to lead him into on of the rooms and lay him down on the bed. "I'm gonna get Megan to fix you up, okay? You're kinda a mess."
Dean laughed. "Yeah...okay..." his voice trailed off as he closed his eyes.
Sam stared at him for a few moments before leaving to find the girls.