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14 October 2008 @ 08:24 pm
Supernatural Fic: Whatever It Takes (The Reaper Remix)  
Written for spn_remix 2008 Ficathon - Remix of Whatever It Takes by dea_liberty
Crossposted to supernaturalfic

Title: Whatever It Takes (The Reaper Remix)
Pairing/Characters: Reaper aka Tessa, Sam, Dean, John, Bobby
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Faith, In My Time of Dying
Summary: The yellow eyed demon does not accept John's offer to save Dean. The reaper's work is interrupted by another Winchester: Sam. (AU)
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Other comments are housed at spnremixfics.

There is little variety in the business of taking lives: a visit, a touch, a departure.

Separate spirit from flesh; a moment's respite, move on to the next.

Some fight.

Like this Dean Winchester.

That is when the job gets interesting.


The guise of Tessa is useful and wearing a human body is enough of an infrequently enjoyed novelty that it walks around in her skin, watching, learning.

Gathering ammunition. Intel.

This one has family - family that reeks of the other world. These are not blissful ignorants. Their injuries are not by the hand of man.

A father who deals in black arts. It watches him offer up a special gun, his life, his soul, only to have the demon with yellow eyes laugh at him, mock his pain.

A brother who knows of reapers. This makes him worthy of note - an actual adversary. It looks over his shoulder as he examines a small black book. A familiar book, known to its kind and dreaded. It knows what those words mean, what they can do to a reaper.

This will not be an ordinary day.

Patience is a virtue it can no longer afford. Tessa must go on the offensive.

Dean is stubborn, immune to even the wiles of a pretty girl. Yet still it bends him towards its will, preys on his fears of becoming the very thing he hunts. It is so close, feels Dean weakening as doubt creeps in.

Still, he resists.

It follows this brother, Sam, as he makes his preparations for the binding ritual. Bones removed from one body, blood from another. No shame, no hesitation. This one will do whatever it takes.

He is desperate; he is dangerous.

He builds his altar in a house that reeks of demons. It watches, unable to interfere. He has almost all he needs now, to bind it, to force it to take a life that should go untouched, to give up its bounty on a man who should no longer walk the earth.

This is wrong.

It wonders what victim Sam will choose, what life he will offer up in exchange for his brother's. It wonders why mere mortals think they can play god - taking a stranger's life to prolong one that is over, changing the natural order of things to suit their petty needs.

Then a man shows up, older, worn around the edges just like his baseball cap. He's clearly a good friend, ranting, trying to talk Sam out of this folly.

It expects he was lured here to be sacrificed, but this is not the case. His role is merely that of a facilitator. He brings Coptic crosses and heartfelt advice, which Sam ignores - single-minded in his purpose, clear in his objective.

It is angry; it never gets angry. This Sam plays with rituals, steals what is not his, usurps power that belongs to no man. It does not wish to do anyone's bidding. It is above.

This Bobby is unsuccessful; Sam's mind is made up. He leaves and it looks for a picture of him left behind. None. It looks for newspapers, where Sam might pluck some random unsuspecting victim. None. There must be a picture.

Someone must die.

This, even it cannot change in all its power.

The altar is near completion and already it feels the tug of the looming beckoning, a sick sensation not unlike that which the dying feel when the unstoppable pull is upon them, when the inevitable is set in motion.

It darts back to try again, to avert this travesty of time, to urge Dean to give up the mortal coil.

It should not have allowed Dean to communicate with his brother through that absurd spirit board. Where once there was a niche, a way in through cracks in Dean's armor, now there is a fortress.

He will not budge. No soothing words can convince him, no threats can scare him now. He has no faith in god, this Dean, yet his faith in family is unshakeable, almost pigheaded. Sam has told him he will save him and Dean? He believes.

It wishes it could take Dean anyway, but unless he willingly gives up the life of a ghost, it is powerless to move him to the beyond.

And then it feels it, a wrenching that disrupts its very core.

It returns, unwilling, to the old shack.


The ritual has begun. The Latin falls in a rapid cadence from Sam's lips. He does not falter, does not miss a word. The book in his hands does not shake, his fingers do not tremble as he places a picture on the altar.

The picture is of himself.


It is done.

Dean wakes, blissfully unaware of his time in limbo, no memory of its failure to snatch him from the prime of his life. He is whole and hale and will live out the rest of his borrowed life as if his fate had always been so. It has removed the mark of death from him, restored him, as it was commanded.

It is in no rush, but once bound by blood what is done cannot be undone.

But there is time, scant time, to watch a father place a hand on a son's shoulder, to watch two brothers embrace: one in joy and one in hidden sorrow.

There is time for a moment of respite for a family, for a man about to die.

For a reaper.

It leans against the door, wearing Tessa's skin, for it wishes to not be frightening to this selfless man. It is no longer angry, but distressed that it must take what it does not wish to.

Sam looks.

Sam can see it.

Sam understands.

Death can be swayed, but never stopped.


There is little variety in the response of humans to death: denial, bargaining, anger.

Very few choose the moment of their own demise for reasons not suicidal, for reasons not selfish.

Some sacrifice.

Like this Sam Winchester.

That is when the job gets difficult.

But it still gets done.

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on October 15th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
This fic was written as a pinch hit for the spn_remix 2008 ficathon. The ficathon's fics are archived at spnremixfics. I was assigned to remix a fic by dea_liberty. I went to look at her list of fic to choose from, clicked on one and fell for it instantly. I did my due diligence and looked at the rest, but I knew I was writing Whatever It Takes. I gave myself a little time to think over my approach and suddenly it hit me to write it from the reaper's POV. After that it pretty much wrote itself.

I figure this won't be a popular fic in the fandom since everyone loves the Winchesters and wants to read about them, not third parties, but I liked the idea that since this was a remix we already had Sam's POV on this and we already knew from canon what John was willing to do to save Dean.

I admit I took some liberties (no pun intended) with the plot. I wanted Sam to be the immediate sacrifice, not just know the reaper would come for him someday like it did for the preacher's wife. I liked the dramatic nature and I wanted to show some sympathy on the part of the reaper for Sam's selfless act done purely out of love for his brother.

My only regret? It was really freaking hard to rewatch Faith and In My Time of Dying back to back for research. /sniff sniff/ /eyes box of tissues/ DEAN! /wails/

Very special thanks to beta melissima for her assistance with this fic.


Emma DeMarais
melissima: Sam!melissima on October 15th, 2008 07:06 am (UTC)
YAY! This is such a great take on the reaper mythology. I was impressed with that from the first read and it only got better as you polished it. Brava!

My favorite part:

And then it feels it, a wrenching that disrupts its very core.

It returns, unwilling, to the old shack.


The ritual has begun. The Latin falls in a rapid cadence from Sam's lips. He does not falter, does not miss a word. The book in his hands does not shake, his fingers do not tremble as he places a picture on the altar.

The picture is of himself.

OH SAMMY! /Pets him/ ♥
devon99 on October 15th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
This is great. I probably wouldn't have read this if I hadn't seen it was by you. I'm glad I did. It was from a wonderfully original perspective.
Nicely done.
Keyla: spn - bibleneverbelonged on October 16th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
completely awesome