NSFW warning because of torture, just to be on the safe side.
Alastair is very old. Dean can tell that much from the way the air seems to just hum with energy around him, not to mention the strangely beautiful white eyes that flicker in the darkness. The words that roll off his tongue suggest something dark and ancient. Dean can hear a hint of an accent there, a strange inflection that demands attention and makes every word flow effortlessly into the next. Yes, there’s certainly something about the way he talks. His voice always has a sneer to it, something that suggests whoever he was in his human life was sarcastic and perpetually miserable, but it does nothing to diminish the peculiar beauty of the language. The Rs roll just perfectly, and his tongue curls around the Ls in a way that defies explanation.
But the truth is, Dean can’t understand a word.
He picks up a razor, one that has a long, straight blade, and Alastair laughs softly, whispers something that ends in a breathy “ah” sound that seems to suggest approval. Dean glances back at him, and his lips curl in a smile. It’s dark and cruel and twisted, and it makes ice run down the length of Dean’s spine until he turns away. But it also means that Alastair is happy with his choice. That’s important.
He chooses a tiny pen blade for his next subject, and the response he gets is something much sharper, full of hard consonants and too few vowels to soften it. He stops, unwilling to turn and see disappointment. He doesn’t have to. Alastair presses close to him, draws right up against his back and wraps an arm around his waist, palm pressing with splayed fingers across his trembling stomach. Black smoke curls down the length of his arm, long fingers brushing the inside of Dean’s wrist and guiding it back to the table so that he releases the instrument he’d selected. He chooses something else, picks up a knife with an oddly curved blade, something that tapers into a little hook, and Alastair hums in contentment, whispering the same word from before, the soft one that drags the vowels out like a sigh that prickles across where Alastair’s mouth is open at the back of Dean’s neck.
Hell is burning. Dean shivers anyway.
Sometimes, it sounds almost like music. A demon singing seems absurd enough, but Dean’s realization that it sounds like a hymn almost makes him drop his instrument. Alastair clicks his tongue in admonishment, scolds him sharply. He apologizes, scrambling for the now soiled knife and tossing it aside. He can’t use it now. Keep your workstation clean. By the time he’s chosen something else, he finds that the sound behind him as lulled him into a sickeningly comforting sort of complacency. Alastair’s voice is smooth now, rising and dipping as words are stretched into songs. Who could a demon be singing praise to though?
As if he can hear Dean’s thoughts, Alastair laughs softly. He moves around him, almost like a dance, disturbingly fluid and graceful with every step, and he is certainly singing something while he watches Dean peel the flesh from yet another screaming victim. Somehow, Alastair matches his voice to the other, as if he were leading a macabre duet rather than celebrating the suffering before him. Hours, days, weeks; it doesn’t matter. Soon enough, this one gives in too, begs for mercy and agrees to take a blade up, agrees to join them if only to make the pain stop. Dean steps back and lets Alastair come forward, predictably whispering sweet comforts to their newest convert as the torture instruments are removed in exchange for eternal service.
For a moment after they go, Dean is alone. He stands amidst the fire, looking down at the shiny silver of the blades and how so much of the rusty blood is staining his skin rather than any external implement. His stomach flips, and before he realizes it, he’s replaying the demonic song in his head, as if something like that could comfort him. It does, even as he turns the sounds over in his head and tries to pick them apart, searching for some clue as to the meaning. The one word seems to repeat more than any other, seems to be carried differently, seems to rise above every other sound in the most painfully beautiful way: Helel.
Overly warm hands sliding down his shoulders snap Dean from his thoughts. He starts to turn, but Alastair holds him in a way that he can’t. He’s crooning now, eyes closed as he whispers elongated vowels colored with the strangely manic happiness that overtakes his tone in moments like this. Dean closes his eyes and sags backwards into the embrace for a moment.
Alastair’s nose brushes the shell of his ear in something of a caress, and he doesn’t have to understand the language to know the words being said.
Good boy. That’s my good boy.