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Any other time, ... by Ophium

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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Any other time, I would’ve fought for what is mine

In the wake of the cold that settled all over his body, Dean could actually hear the sound of waves, far away, susurrant, breaking against the shore.

Dean could feel himself breaking against those sharp rocks, helpless to stop those sharp edges from tearing in to his flesh. A shipwreck of the soul, lured in to certain death by the promise of companionship.

Sirens. Greek mythology described them as the very essence of the one thing sailors missed most: the warmth of a woman’s body. However, unlike those ancient sailors, Dean had no shortage of female company to sate his more base desires. But the warmth of blood, of family... those were sorely missed.

In Greek mythos, sirens were depicted as possessing a woman’s appearance, even if portions of their anatomy were sometimes part fish or part bird. Despite that, and that all the victims had described female strippers as their lurers, Dean knew better than assume that the thing that they were hunting couldn’t take on the semblance of a male figure.

Like Nick.

He should’ve known that 'Nick, the FBI guy', was just too perfect to be true. The classic rock knowledge, the love for muscle cars... the too easy trust.

Dean should know better than that. Everyone that had ever given him their trust, everyone single one of them, had made Dean work hard for it. Dad, Sam, Bobby, Ellen... no one simply looked at him and trusted him. People didn't do that. No one did.

'Nick' had offered his blind trust in Dean, believing his crazy stories about sirens and the shapeshifter abilities of a small town lady doctor and Dean had just reciprocated that trust, blindly. Like a damn rookie. Like a pathetic looser, desperate to have his own value validated.

He’d been so damn sure that the siren was that doctor, the one that Sam had dipped his dick in just for kicks and... Sam had been lucky, that’s what he’d been. And Dean was screwed.

“Where’re we going?” Dean asked. The thing turned silently, hands on the wheel, both eyes on Dean and not even the slightest concern for the oncoming traffic. The look was hungry, amused and too knowing, like a cat playing with its mouse prey. Dean hated mice. He hated cats even more.

There was no answer, but Dean knew. He knew exactly where they were going and what was going to happen when they got there.

And sad thing was, he wasn’t even worried about that. He was actually anxious to get to the motel room and see Sam. Eager even.

And whether that need to get to Sam as fast as he could was part of some veiled hope that Sam would realize what was happening and end the damn siren's existence, thus freeing Dean from its spell, or if Dean was actually eager to get rid of his brother just so he could be with the siren, let the siren be his brother... Dean didn’t know. Dean didn’t want to know.

The thoughts just chased each other endlessly inside his head; his brain was like one giant racetrack that went around and around, and the truth was always there, right in the middle, out of reach, out of touch and he couldn’t do a damn thing about it.

Somewhere along the line, Sam had gotten cocky with his skills. His gut (or his dick, depending on the amount of clothes they were wearing at any given time) told Sam that the pretty doc wasn’t the siren, so, obviously, the pretty doc was most certainly not the siren. Just like that.

It didn’t matter that she would have easy access to the drug that had been found in the blood of all the victims; it didn’t matter that she had the flowers from the sirens’ island in her office; it didn’t even matter that she WAS an attractive woman and fit the profile a heck of a lot more than 'Nick, the FBI guy'.

Sam’s gut told him that she was innocent, therefore she was innocent, because Sam was such a great hunter that he couldn’t possibly be wrong about that.

The fact that Sam’s ‘gut’ was actually right this time around only added insult to injury.

Somewhere along the line, Dean had gotten sloppy.


Not sloppy... Dean had gotten isolated. Alone.

Any other time, Sam would be right there at his side, investigating the one and only suspect that they had, the doctor lady. Any other time, Dean would be on a stake-out with his brother by his side, complaining about the end of the coffee pot, not sharing booze with a perfect stranger. The same 'perfect stranger' who just happened to be the very thing that they were hunting in the first place.

Any other time and Sam wouldn’t have let himself stray from the hunt long enough and stupidly enough to have a sex-pause.

And Dean wouldn’t have so easily given a complete stranger his trust.

Tired of being second-guessed and lied to, Dean felt left out, lonely. Sam was too self assured, too confident in his abilities now, and even when he was with Dean, he was no longer there for Dean. Not like a brother aught to be. Not like family.

Dean didn't want a partner... a reluctant, bossy one at that. That was not what he needed.

Dean tried to wrack his brain in search of his will-power, looking for the end of the threadbare line that would lead him to the conclusion that being under the siren’s spell was a bad thing against which he should be fighting.

But he couldn’t. There was nothing there but the comfortable feeling of someone watching his back, of someone taking care of him, of someone needing him to take care of.

“We’re here.”

Ni... the siren announced and, even though he couldn’t remember the trip from the car to the motel, Dean found himself standing in front of the door to the room that he shared with Sam, key in his hand, turning the lock.

Sam wasn’t there and the idea of calling him on his phone turned in to a moot point when Dean saw the shattered remains of his brother’s cell all over the room’s carpeted floor.

Any other time and the sight would've been enough to set Dean’s nerves on edge. Any other time his mind would've panicked, imagining that someone had broken in and taken Sam by force, the broken cell nothing but a dead witness to their struggle. Now though... now he knew Sam had probably thrown it against the wall in rage when Dean had refused to join him.

Because that was how Sam dealt with disappointment this days. Violently.

And that was how Dean reacted to the new Sam. Despondently.

“Come," the siren beckoned from one of the beds, Sam's bed. "Sit here.”

Dean went, because he didn’t have a choice; because he wanted to go. Because it burned when he got too near that manipulative creature but it was freezing cold outside its touch.

We’ll wait for Sam,” it announced, one finger tracing the line of short hair down Dean’s sideburns, across his cheek. “I’m sure he’ll be here soon.”

As a child, Dean remembered, his mother did the same thing as he fell asleep. Faint touch of ghost fingers, tracing the line of fine hair above his eye, easing away the tension on his forehead when he was sick. There was a barest scent of coconut and curry in the air, spicy and exotic and nothing like the smell of vanilla and roses that always seemed to surround his mother.

Dean opened his eyes, for a few seconds certain that he would find himself looking at the gentle face of his lost mother, her warm green eyes silently telling him that everything was ok. Instead, he found himself looking at the siren's hungry brown eyes.

“I can be anyone you wish me to be,” the siren promised. “I can be your brother, I can be your father, your mother or even the long-lasting lover that you never had... anyone, Dean.”

Dean shuddered, a cold deeper than dropping temperature taking hold of his bones, of his mind, his heart.

“I can be the family that you lost, Dean,” the siren whispered in Dean's ear, words worming their way inside his head and taking residence in that frozen place inside that was growing bigger and bigger.

The fingers tracing his face grabbed Dean’s chin gently, tenderly turning his head until he was facing Nick. The other man’s breath was warm against Dean’s skin, touching his lips and filling his nose, the exotic smell stronger than before.

“I can be everything you want me to be Dean,” Nick whispered. "Anyone."

Dean’s breath caught in his throat and he felt himself nod. “Anyone,” he whispered back.

“All you have to do...”

“Is kill Sam,” Dean finished. He could do that. He would do anything for his family. For his new family.

The end

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