Title: The Truth Is
By: nixa_jane
Pairing: gen
Rating: R
Note: au, takes place after Nightshifter, but before Folsom Prison Blues--Sam is teetering on the edge of being evil, possibly already there, and he's got Andy-type powers
Summary: The thing that always bothered him the most was that they didn't look anything like killers.

The thing that always bothered him the most was that they didn't look anything like killers.

He wasn't naïve, he knew it wasn't always so cut and dry--if history has taught him anything its that the worst serial killers have always been the most charming, the kind you'd let into your home maybe, the kind you'd never suspect.

So maybe it's not so strange that Dean looks like a movie star and Sam looks like a college kid, but he can't help going over in his head everything he knows about them, trying to make it fit. That father was the key. He dropped off the grid almost completely just weeks after his wife had died. There were more than a few rumors that maybe he'd been the one to kill her.

He doesn't think there's anything to that. John Winchester led a perfectly respectable life for years. He had his young sons and a beautiful wife, friends all through the town. Everyone waved when the Winchesters went by. They were on all the Christmas cards lists.

The death of Mary was the trigger, he doesn't think John had anything to do with it. Winchester must have snapped that night she died and taken the kids along with him for the ride.

He went over the St. Louis files again and again. He looked at the autopsy photos, and Dean's face stared back, wide dead eyes open as wide as his chest--the guy who did the examination promises he was dead. People don't sleep through that. He told him Winchester's heart weighed 2.5 pounds, and they hadn't been able to explain that. The working theory is that he must have been a twin, despite that there's no record of him.

It makes him wonder who it is he's chasing then, Dean, or the other one? Who was on that autopsy table in St. Louis, with all those victims' blood under his fingernails, and his skin that the doctor said was coming unglued--slipping off like a snake. He'd never seen anything like it, he'd said. He'd said it a lot.

If they didn't have the pictures, the eyewitness accounts, what was left of that body after the autopsy wouldn't be able to be identified by anyone. The DNA always came back contaminated, no one could make heads or tails of it. They couldn't even match it conclusively to Dean's--they couldn't even promise it was human.

Looking back, he knows he should have paid more attention to St. Louis than he had in his first encounter with Dean. He was involved in this, obviously, but he didn't know for a fact he was killing anyone. That was the problem. He didn't have a clue what these Winchesters were doing.

That second time they were caught, everyone said they were pretty sure that Detective Ballard just let them go. She says they ran before she could stop them, but she goes on record, says those boys didn't murder anyone. She swears they saved her life.

He remembers that first conversation with Dean--his father was a soft spot. He was really starting to think that John Winchester was dead. The problem is every time he thinks he has them pegged, everything gets turned upside down. Half the people in that bank swore the Winchesters were trying to save them, the other half were scared to death of them. That dead girl looked just like the bank teller, and she swore she didn't have a twin. She said she didn't know who it could be.

He went to that autopsy himself. Her skin slipped off like it was plastic. This time, he told them he'd seen this kind of thing before, but he wasn't any closer to explaining it.

And then there was Sam.

He really should have been paying more attention to Sam, whose girlfriend burned up in their apartment the same day of his mother's death. He'd seen pictures of Jessica Moore. She looked a hell of a lot like Mary, she even looked a little like Dean.

But he'd always thought this manhunt would come down to him and Dean, he'd accepted that probably only one of them would make it out alive. He really should have been paying more attention to Sam.

"You have to understand," Sam tells him, "this isn't personal."

He takes a deep breath. He watches Sam holding that gun pointed towards the floor, wonders how fast he is on the draw. "Dean send you here, Sam?"

Sam laughs like that's the funniest thing he's ever heard. "Dean? He's got no idea I'm here, he would have stopped me. You just don't get it, do you? Dean probably saved more lives by the time he was thirteen than you've managed your entire career. Dean's a good person. You really shouldn't have been worrying about Dean."

"What about you, Sam?" he asks. "Should I be worried about you, or are you a good person too?"

Sam shakes his head. "Me? I don't even know if I'm a person at all," he says.

"We can work this out, Sam, I just want to know what this is all about," he says. "I want you to explain it to me."

"Now you want to listen?" Sam asks.

He's never been a deep sleeper, and his security system is state of the art, but Sam had somehow gotten past all his defenses. Sam had woken him by tapping that .45 against his cheek, and next thing he knew he'd been slammed against the wall of his bedroom. He's not quite sure how Sam managed that. He can't remember Sam ever touching him.

Sam kneels in front of him. "Dean already told you the truth," he says. "That's the funniest thing about our lives, we don't even have to bother to lie, because no one believes us when we tell the truth."

"You're sick, Sam," he says. "You're both sick. You need help."

"How about this--what if I said my dad was a son of a bitch, beat us every day of our lives, taught us to fight, to kill, to follow orders. Sent us on missions. We lived in the backwoods, made a game of it. You ever heard of the Benders? What if I said we were just like them, would you believe that?"

He takes a deep breath, because this is the kind of the confession that he's been waiting for, and now that he's sitting here listening to it, somehow he knows it isn't true. "No, I don't think I would," he says.

Sam laughs. "Yeah, well, then I don't know what to tell you. I bet you Officer Kathleen never mentioned that we were even there, huh? Bet she never said we were the ones that caught them."

"Caught who?" he asks.

"The Benders," Sam says. "You're not keeping up."

None of this is making any sense, but its not like that's new, when it comes to the Winchesters. He remembers reading about the Benders months back, he wasn't jaded enough it hadn't made him sick to think about the things they had done. "You're saying that you caught the Benders?"

"I'll never forget them, that madness in their eyes," Sam says. "Of all the monsters I've seen I think they were the worst."

"Then don't be like them, Sam," he says. "Let me go."

Sam shakes his head. "No, you're missing the point," he says. "They didn't have a reason for the things they did. I do."

"What reason is there for this?" he snaps. "I'm a Federal Agent, if you think they're after you now--"

"You are after us now," Sam says. "You don't know how much I wish you would have just left us alone. The only time Dean has ever killed anyone has been self-defense. He's never murdered anyone, and I can't risk him getting locked away like that. I just can't."

"They'll know it was you," he says. "Or more likely, they'll think it was Dean. Is that what you want?"

"I don't know what you think is going to happen here," Sam says. "I'm not going to kill you, so they aren't going to think anything of the sort."

"Then what is this all about?" he demands.

Sam sits across from him. "I want you to listen to me very carefully," he says. "There's this guy, Gordon Walker, he's doing some time for murder. He's got a style to his killing's that's real similar to things you'd like to pin on us."

"I don't understand," he says.

"You will," Sam says, "because tomorrow you're going to wake up, go to the office, and you're going to have a break in your case. You're going to realize the worst thing the Winchesters have ever done is some credit fraud. You're going to indict Walker for the rest of it."

"He didn't do it," he says.

"No," Sam says. "But neither did we, and I'd rather Gordon get blamed than Dean. We work in the same circles, and the evidence is crazy enough that everyone should be more than happy to accept that this convicted murderer is responsible for it all instead of us. We raise too many questions. No one likes to ask questions. They want it neat. So give them neat."

Sam rests his head on the palm of one hand. He looks younger than twenty-four. "Don't worry, I made it easy for you. I visited Gordon yesterday. He's going to confess to everything."

"You're crazy," he says, but there's something prickling at the back of his mind. Something suggesting that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to just do as he was told.

Sam nods. "I am sorry about all of this, but we have lives to save, and we just can't be worried about you. You understand, right? Say you understand."

He feels sick. "I understand," he says, and he does. He doesn't know how but he does.

Sam nods, and gets to his feet. He's almost to the door when he turns back around. "Oh, and Hendricksen? After Gordon is facing the charges, after we've been cleared--you're going to take out your weapon, in front of everyone, and you're going to shoot yourself in the head."

There's something winding itself around his mind, some kind of compulsion and he leans forward, feeling dizzy. Somehow he knows he's going to do exactly as he's been told.

"Okay," he says to Sam. "If that's what you want."

He really should have been more worried about Sam.