Who? Dean & Lucifer! What? Dreaming, taunting, angst, etc. Where? Dean's dream: in Hell! When? Tonight! Rating? Probably highish, because a) most of Dean's dreams are crazybloodyhellish, and b) Lucifer is involved.
Nightmares from his time in Hell hardly surprised Dean anymore - especially not lately. For the last week, he’d dreamed of nothing but Hell, nothing except the heat and pain and screams and rotting-burning sickly-sweet smell of flesh and blood and the illusion of death. It was like that dark part of him wanted to remember, used the memory to get stronger, pulled up the most horrible images he had in his head and played them back at him, over and over, until he was back there, until it started to be hard to tell what was real and what was memory.
Sometimes he was on the rack, skin flayed away, muscles and tendons shredded, bones being carved away. Sometimes there were Hellhounds, and sometimes tiny little demons climbing all over him, eating at his flesh... and sometimes Alistair was back, taking the time to work him over properly, knife flashing as he moved, talking all the while, telling Dean how he was proud of him, he was learning so well, he hardly even begged anymore unless he did this, or that, he was starting to actually become a challenge.
Sometimes, he wasn’t the one on the rack. He was the one with the knife in his hands, the one with a crooked smile and blood all over his body, the one listening to the screams and enjoying them, letting them wash over him like the music he could hardly remember down there. In Hell, the sounds of agony were the only music, and he had quickly become a master musician, an artist in the sights and sounds of torture. He was the best, and he was proud of himself. Alistair would whisper hints and praises to him, over the sounds he was drawing out of the soul on the rack in front of him, and he was the closest to happy he remembered how to feel, in moments like that.
Most of his dreams, he wasn’t aware they were dreams until he woke up, found himself back in a bed or in the car, stretched awkwardly across the seat. He’d follow the pattern of the dream, a week or two in Hell in one night, either taking the torment he deserved, or handing it back out the way his burning rage wanted him to, and then he’d wake up and he was back where he belonged, and the dream faded back to a memory, compressed like most dreams did, and he’d go on his way.
This time, though, it felt different. Something was different, and he knew, immediately, this was a dream. He was standing between the empty rack and a table of blades, and it was silent... that was the part that threw him off, the part that made him wary, because Hell was never silent. There was always the distant sound of screaming, mindless babbling pleas for freedom, for help, for God to forgive them for whatever had sent them here. There were always Hounds barking and growling, the voices of the demons. Even when those things lapsed for a moment, there should have been roaring flames, rattling chains, breaking bones. Something.
This, though. This silence was wrong in a different sort of way than everything else about Hell.
His hand closed around the handle of a knife on the table, and he stepped away. Waiting. He didn’t know what he was waiting for, just that he was. He felt a little like he was being preyed upon, circled, but there was nothing and no one there, just the familiar heat and scent, and the new, oppressive silence.