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Title: Sacrifice Will be Our Undoing, but Hope Will Set Us Free
Fandom: Supernatural
Characters: OC, mentions of Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester
Pairings: none
Rating: PG-13 for dark themes, general angst
Word Count: 1589
Warnings: AU, speculative future fic, character death, angst
A/N:
 I've had this idea floating around in my head for ages.  I had a version of this story almost complete a few months ago, and then my stupid computer ate it (thank you Vista).  So, now, after much rethinking, reworking, and re-imagining, I've finally got it done.  Thank you very much to engel82 for the quick beta and help with the title!  This is a first person narrative from an unnamed Hunter's POV.  Set in the future, so spoilers for all episodes aired, especially "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 2" (2.22).
Disclaimer: I own nothing and no money is being made, no copyright infringement intended!  "Supernatural" and its characters are owned by Eric Kripke, Warner Brothers, the CW network, et al.  This is fiction written entirely for entertainment purposes only.  Not mine; don't sue, please. I repeat: not mine.
Summary: A few years in the future, the war is raging on, and it's not looking good for humanity.  As many Hunters all but give up and concede victory to the forces of hell, might there be a new hope?


The war rages on, day in, day out, year, after year, after year. One moment blending into the next until you can’t tell one day from another—one year from another. We hunters try, we fight valiantly, but each day more fall, either dying at the hands of Hell’s Army and her General, destroyed by possession, driven mad by constant losses, or occasionally falling to the darkness—joining the things we hunt. 
But ever since their General ascended to power, and our general descended into hell, the onslaught has been unrelenting, our failures have only mounted, and it’s seemed clear that it is only a matter of time before we fall. Before all humanity loses and the darkness envelops the earth…
 
Hunters, as a general rule, have chosen to vilify Dean Winchester, picking him as the scapegoat, the reason, the hated failure to blame for why everything in the world is so wrong. I can’t abide by this condemnation. I’ve studied the history; I know the facts—or at least as close to the facts as one can get when everyone who knows “the truth” is either dead, damned, an agent of hell, or in hiding. I know enough to know it wasn’t Dean Winchester, or even Sam Winchester, who opened that Devil’s Gate. By all accounts they both tried to stop it—and it was in stopping it that everything went wrong, or at least more wrong. Bit if Dean and Sam both weren’t there, it would have been worse, or the same, or at least not better—except… 
 
The point is it’s easy to point fingers at a dead man and say “he’s the source,” “it’s his fault,” “he’s to blame.” The dead can’t talk back. But in truth, those are just excuses for our own shortcomings. If the rest of the hunters fought harder, or gave less stock to prophesy and destiny, we might just win. Ironic, isn’t it, that while our community decries the supernatural as evil and abnormal, we cling to it and its metaphysical pronunciations to absolve us of our responsibility for our own survival. We abdicate our voice to naysayers who are already convinced that we’ve lost, while our fallen savior is a man who never believed in fate or destiny himself.
 
There was no way Dean could have known that by making that deal he was dooming the world—that selling his soul and resurrecting his brother was all part of Hell’s plan. There were other ways the war could have gone, but that was Hell’s number one choice—the double bonus—get the General they’ve always wanted while taking humanity’s general away from us. The deck was stacked against us—against Dean—from the moment John Winchester thrust baby Sammy into his arms. From that point on Dean could never see any goal more important than protecting and saving his brother, and he could never believe that he was important, that he had a purpose, that Dean Winchester was supposed to save human kind from the forces of hell. So he did the only thing he could—he sold his soul to “save” his brother—sacrificing himself to the only cause that really mattered. There was no way for Dean to know that it would be saving Sam—or trying, at least—that would send his brother over the edge, turn Sam into the monster he was always afraid he would become.
 
It was slow, at first, or so I’ve pieced together from the records and eye-witness accounts that survive and the few Hunters in exile that would talk to me. Little things. Nothing too alarming. Sam seemed more eager to “get the job done,” less hesitant to kill. But then again, Sam was doing so much in secret, trying to save Dean without Dean knowing, so that it wouldn’t trigger the demons’ failsafe and make Sam drop dead. What Dean thought was a fair stipulation given his history with deals and demons was actually the perfect trap. As Sam fought harder and searched broader, he grew more and more desperate. He tried darker and darker spells researched ever more ancient texts, and finally, he tapped into his own powers—his demonically tainted powers, the powers of the Chosen One—lowering the barriers he had instinctively erected in his mind. It was worth the risk, right? If I was in Sam’s shoes, I probably would have thought the same. Any chance to save his brother, anything he could do to repay Dean for all his sacrifices, anything to save Dean from eternal damnation—anything to not have to face life alone… But we know the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and it turns out, so is the road to hell on earth
 
Before he could find a way to save Dean, Sam had fallen to the power, to the call—it wouldn’t matter if Dean was dead or alive, damned or not, if Sam’s army won. Sam’s powers could make it right—he could strike down those who would hurt his brother, buy back Dean’s soul for himself, strike out at the other threats to them in the world—the human threats—and make a new world that would accept the Winchester brothers as they were. It would be eternal freedom for Sam and Dean. They promised, and Sam was just desperate enough to believe, to listen to the voices that plagued his dreams, the visions that came to him while he was awake, the voice inside that said “there is no other way.” Dean found out too late. Even if he could have broken the deal (to kill Sam; to stop Sam) he wouldn’t have done it. Dean had always known he would never be able to kill his brother, because how can a man destroy his only reason for living? It was in this forced separation—the clause that Dean thought brought extra collateral—the removal of Dean from his role as guardian and protector of Sam while Sam was at his most desperate that sealed our fate.
 
So, Dean died, Sam grew darker and stronger, for now his brother had actually been taken from him, and the twisted whispers in his mind told him the only way to make it right was to make earth pay… After all, it was a human (at least in part) that killed Sam, that made Dean make that deal, and if hell got to walk the earth, then Dean would be able to walk the earth and Sam could see him again. Without his brother to watch out for him, the demons got their way, and the Hunters began to fall. And we realized that Dean was the one who could have led us to victory. But he was dead, damned, gone… by his own hand, or at least, his own dealings. Dean’s ultimate sacrifice became the ultimate victory for the forces of hell.
 
The darkness falls earlier each day. Less and less light reaches the earth, and someday soon, the light will go out for good. Everyone notices now. There’s no way not to. The religious pray to their gods and beg for forgiveness as if somehow hell on earth is a punishment for our shortcomings or digressions. The rest of us continue to fight, even though the Chosen One and his army draw ever closer to breaking the last seal and allowing the world below to spill forth unhindered and unyielding, signaling the end of humanity’s freedom. There is no reason. It just is… Or maybe, maybe it is our punishment—self-inflicted—for listening to destiny and prophecy, and giving up when there is still air in our lungs and blood in our veins and another chance to send back hell.
 
And maybe, maybe in all the darkness, there is hope (and maybe that’s the point). It comes first in exorcisms. Demons talking through the anguish; letting slip strange tidings. Most say it’s a trick. Demons lie. Or they tell you things to make you fall into their traps. But then it happens more and more. Hunters win a battle for once—not a single human life lost, but a dozen demons destroyed. An escaped spirit begs to be destroyed, not sent back because rumor has it hell’s not a good place for him right now; his enemies will destroy him. We dismiss it. After all, maybe spirits always have enemies in hell—maybe this one got out against their leaders’ wishes—we’re very good at rationalizing when we want to be. For all Hunters’ skepticism, sometimes we take it a little too far; we refuse to see good where it exists.
 
But then, something rumbles, the ground shifts, the air burns with sulfur, and demons seem to be fleeing to earth—not coming to fight, but coming to hide, to escape. Arriving wounded and babbling, easily captured, more easily killed. Their General speaks. The Chosen One is worried—or is he hopeful—he says there’s a war, in hell. The tortured and subjugated are taking up arms against their captors, the lowest of the low fighting back and refusing to follow the demonic hierarchy; slaves overthrowing their masters; spirits of the damned staging a riot in their prison of flesh and blood and bone. And at the helm, is Dean Winchester—our general rising to lead us at last. He will fight his way out of hell—I know he can do it—and maybe then, he can save his brother (and humanity) at last.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
engel82
Sep. 17th, 2007 09:56 am (UTC)
1st!!

You already know what I think :) I LOVE it!!
and ooh.. I have a mention! *grins*

paleogymnast
Sep. 17th, 2007 10:00 am (UTC)
Well, of course you have a mention... otherwise, this would still be sitting on my hard drive and I'd be wondering if it was worth posting. :)

And I'm very glad you like it!! :)
engel82
Sep. 17th, 2007 12:14 pm (UTC)
I completely forgot to say on MSN how I like that while everyone is blaming Him, he will still be the one to save them all.

Aww Dean. I heart you!
paleogymnast
Sep. 17th, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
And you know, it's that kind of dramatic irony that I really like, and I think it's pretty typical of Dean. After all, the guy is always getting called a "monster" himself (by people like Henricksen) yet he continues to keep saving people!
limejuize
Sep. 17th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC)
This was awesome! I can really see Dean starting a rebellion in hell. Great fic!!!
paleogymnast
Sep. 17th, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I have to say, one ray of hope if everything goes south for Dean is that I just don't see the guy laying down and taking it, giving up, even if he is in hell!!
minniemax
Sep. 17th, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)
I really love your stories - this one, even if dark (which I don't read usually), still shows the hope and strenght of those two.
paleogymnast
Sep. 17th, 2007 09:50 pm (UTC)
Aww, I'm glad you like them. I really do try to write fluffier stuff, but the angst/tragedy/dark subject matter seems to flow the most easily. I just don't see the point in making it completely hopeless, afterall, what's the point if there's no hope, so it's good to know that the positivity is coming through. :)
calijirl5150
Sep. 18th, 2007 12:23 am (UTC)
Oh I like this premis, (not the EvilSam part) put that Dean will take over hell to save Sam :) Great job.
paleogymnast
Sep. 18th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading and commenting. If Sam were to go darkside, I don't think Death would stop Dean from trying to find a way to save him.
julsus
Oct. 13th, 2007 12:03 pm (UTC)
Wow! You are mightily impressing me with your fic.

And I'm liking how your mind works.

I've actually read this a few times cos I love it so :D Yes this could so be what it would be like...Sammy trying anything to save Dean's soul...even opening up that side of himself. And Dean not letting a little thing like Hell get in the way of his ultimate purpose in life...protecting & saving his little brother.

Thank-you Paley xxx

- Suze :)
paleogymnast
Oct. 13th, 2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you like it! I had a miserable time writing this fic, mosly because I had it nearly all written before my computer crashed and ate it (auto recover didn't work so I lost all but the first few paragraphs I had started). So it took ages before my muses struck again, and I really wasn't sure about it. So, I'm really glad you like how it turned out.

But yeah, I see the Deal and Sam's desperation to save Dean as being potentially a huge opportunity for those who want Sammy to be the evil demon king to get their way. And I really hope against hope that if Dean does wind up in hell, he gives them a little taste of their own medicine.
lycaness
Oct. 23rd, 2007 10:32 am (UTC)
Oh I can just see Dean doing that, fighting his way out of Hell. He did swear to Meg once that he would march into Hell himself and slaughter every single one of them. Guess he did. :D Loved it Pales, really well written.
paleogymnast
Oct. 23rd, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Lyca!!

I'm glad you read and enjoyed it! Somehow I don't expect Dean to just settle down and take it if/when he gets to hell. He just might make demons regret the day they ever tried to drag him there!
(Deleted comment)
paleogymnast
Nov. 10th, 2007 01:24 am (UTC)
*blushes* *takes a bow* I'm very glad that you like the premise, narrative style, and feel that I did it justice. I write two things well (IMHO anyway): angst and porn (and sometimes porny angst or angsy porn) so, I'm always glad to hear that my writing has the desired effect. And as for the situation in season 3, well, this really is end-of-the-world stuff the Winchesters are dealing with (or at least end of the world as we know it) and they're very close to becoming the kind of legends or monsters they hunt. This is one possibility on how things could go down (because honestly, I don't believe that Dean would ever give up fighting), and it took me ages to get it out on paper, so I'm very happy that people like how it turned out!!
(Deleted comment)
paleogymnast
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you! I really enjoy toying with not-so-happy resolutions to Dean's deal, because well, we don't really know what's going to happen, and Kripke and Co. haven't alway been the kindest, nicest, cudliest to us when it comes to the Winchesters' lives and sanity. Plus, angst is fun! and angsty Dean is the best thing ever. :D Anyway, I don't see Dean taking death lying down, so I think if he does wind up going to hell, hell may be sorry that they ever let him in. :)

I hope you do read more. :) And please feel free to friend me!
x_darkshines_x
Dec. 19th, 2007 02:36 pm (UTC)
Wow. I’ve had to take 5 from reading that to comment. And even now I just cant find the words. I’ve not really thought about the deal past “Kripke wont let Dean die/go to hell” but reading your version it scares me how possible that scenario is. I really cant find the words to say how much I liked this, I didn’t think I would but I really did. Your style of writing makes such a welcome change to the usual light-hearted fics I’ve been reading of late. Even the angsty ones seem humorous in comparison. And yet this made me laugh at the end; that Dean would be fighting his way out of hell, flushing out the beings of the underworld to the surface in a weakened state so the surviving hunters can continue the fight with a new vigour.
I loved it! and I’m gonna take a few before seeing if there is any more to read cause I’m a glutton for punishment.
Hope you don’t mind if I friend you?
paleogymnast
Dec. 19th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
Yes, by all means, please friend me. I'm glad you've enjoyed what you've seen so far!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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