Our Solemn Hour

So Fast to This Degree

Years turned to decades, decades faded to centuries, and every single second was filled with torturous agony. The only sounds were Sam and Dean's screams, constantly unending and never ceasing. Sam's voice would break as he cried out for his brother, but Dean knew better than to hope for help. He just screamed.

When Sam sobbed for Dean as Lucifer dislocated every one of his joints, Dean just muttered broken apologies under his breath. When Sam pleaded with Satan to stop as he tore Sam open and force fed him his own intestines, Dean just turned his head away, focusing on his own pain in hopes of blocking out Sam's.

Michael was playing his cards well. Sam's constant pleas for help slowly began driving Dean to the brink of insanity. But more often than not, it seemed like Dean wished Sam would just shut up rather than stop suffering. When Sam broke, he simply turned into a quivering mess. But Dean just started becoming more hateful and angry about everything that had happened to him. Maybe Michael would be able to use this to his advantage.

"Dean," Michael whispered lowly, his mouth right beside the bloody and torn face, absent of its tongue and eyes. Even without them, Dean's face still portrayed instant terror at the sound of Michael's voice. "Do you tire of all this yet? Do you wish for it to stop?"

Taunting him even further, Michael was currently in the visage of Dean's father, the younger version of him; the one before Sam was born, therefore ruining any chance his family had at normality. Dean would say, "Damn him" but it would probably be unnecessary at this point.

Ribs splintered with a snap of Michael's fingers, drawing a tortured cry from Dean's skinless lips. He really didn't appreciate being ignored. "I asked you a question, Dean. Answer it."

With no tongue or teeth to form the words, Dean simply nodded frantically, desperate to spare himself of any more of this agony.

Using John's mouth, even though Dean couldn't see it, Michael smiled wide and victoriously. With another snap, Dean fell from the rack, catching himself with his broken fingers. Slowly, Dean's wounds and broken bones began mending themselves, and what felt like the first time in forever, he stood up. Michael usually broke his legs before he ever had the chance; why was he letting him stand now?

Don't get them wrong, Michael and Lucifer still abhor one another, but now they shared their common goal of making the Winchesters suffer for the rest of eternity. They had an arrangement where they would occasionally switch toys or team up on one while the other was forced to watch. Isn't it nice when brothers finally get along?

Just as Lucifer was finishing up meticulously removing Sam's femur bone, Michael whispered in his ear. Lucifer's Cheshire cat grin crept up one side of his face, and he still loomed over the trembling and terrified Sam, gagged by a leather strap and tied down to the extreme. Lucifer liked to overdo it sometimes, simply because he could, and Sam's inferiority to him was something Sam needed to be consistently reminded of. Lucifer eyed Sam, considering him for a moment. He tapped his fingers against his lips, relishing in how waves of anticipation of pain radiated off Sam.

Finally, he made a decision. "I've still got a few minutes here." He smiled again when Sam's eyes widened in panic, and he yanked uselessly against the straps that held him down. "Hold tight, Sammy. Someone else will be with you momentarily." With that, he plunged his hand back into the gaping wound on Sam's leg, carefully wriggling the bone out; the sound of squelching flesh and blood sloshing against Lucifer's skin were completely inaudible, drowned out by Sam's muffled, agonized screaming.

Still in shock from the actual break from the torture had left Dean completely frozen. The desperate cries of his brother had been going on for too long to even surprise Dean anymore. It was simply white noise; he'd grown to ignore it, even become nothing but annoyed by it. Dean was constantly in pain too, but he at least had the decency not to guilt Sam by crying out for him. What exactly was Sam expecting for him to do? Break free from the rack, kill Michael and Lucifer, get Sam loose and give him a nice brotherly hug? Get over it, Sam, no one's leaving. Ever.

An arm suddenly wrapped around Dean's shoulders, and Dean couldn't stop the flinch. The arm belonged to Michael, and he was smiling at Dean. Not the way he would if he had been skinning Dean alive (again), but a smile as though he and Dean were old friends. If Dean had any sense of humour left, he might have laughed at the irony.

"Are you ready for your chance to be free of the rack?"

Was-Was Michael going to let Dean speak? Almost cautiously, Dean answered, "Y-Yes." It had been the first time Dean had been able to open his mouth without something being shoved inside, or that a scream slash blood didn't come out.

Michael tapped Dean's shoulder encouragingly and guided him over towards- Lucifer, and Dean shuddered. Sure, Michael tortured Dean plenty, but he was careless and vicious about it. Lucifer was s-l-o-w. He took his time as he dug out Dean's eyes, or snapped his bones, one by one. Michael always had his teeth bared in a snarl as he tore into Dean, but Lucifer? Lucifer occasionally let his tongue peek past his lips in concentration as he sliced open Dean's ribcage, carefully picking apart as many organs as he could before Dean died from blood loss. His record was far too high for Dean to want to ever recall. Lucifer's nonchalance about everything was its own torture method. His apathy towards pain just made it hurt so much worse.

"Don't be afraid, Deanie-boy." Lucifer noted at Dean's obvious discomfort. "I'm not gonna hurt you, you've earned yourself a treat today, buddy," He stepped aside, revealing Sam, still tied down, organs displayed delicately like artifacts at a museum, his breaths fast and shallow. Dean remembered how it felt to be exposed like that; the cold of Lucifer's touch or hot flames of Hell brushing inside places they should never go. Dean had seen that sight too many times for him to be affected but it once more, even though it was his baby brother on that rack.

When a knife was placed in Dean's hands, he knew what they wanted from him.

They wanted him to torture Sam.

"Oh," Lucifer giggled. "Silly me. You probably want a clean canvas, don't you, big guy?" Dean watched, unaffected that the Devil had just called his brother a canvas, as Lucifer waved a hand, and Sam bucked up with panting breaths as his body began to heal; but the fear in his eyes did not waver.

He croaked out a word behind the gag, but even muffled and shaking with dread, it was still understood as, "Dean?"

Something snapped in Dean, and for once, it wasn't bone. Sam was always so damn weak! Dean always had to be the one to save him, to die for him, to go to Hell for him! Well… Dean had finally had enough of that. If Sam was so willing to put himself through Hell, then Dean would gladly show him what that meant.

Searching deep into his mind for the thoughts he had forgotten, for the methods he had long since forced into the back of his head, Dean looked down at Sam, and he smiled. And he didn't miss the frightened whimper Sam made when he saw Dean's expression.

"Look on the bright side, Sammy;" Dean picked up a scalpel, letting the flames of Hell gleam off the silver. He checked the tip, pricking his finger until a steady trickle of blood ran down his hand. "At least it's not the Devil."

And then he started carving.

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