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May 10th, 2011


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12:00 pm
(Backdated: Commentfic for this prompt at ratherastory's meme.)

Wayfare
by whereupon



The cabin's so goddamn small that they've practically been living jewels to jewels this past week and a half, so when Dean wakes up and doesn't immediately hear somebody else basically breathing down his neck, he knows that something's wrong. Very wrong, because it's just him and Sam. Or it was, until it became just him. No way the silence is 'cause Bobby's acting as chaperon on one of Sam's little nature walks, since Bobby's meant to be a state and a half over at this point and there's no way Dean wouldn't have woken up earlier if he'd heard anybody pull into the driveway.

He opens his eyes; the cabin is still mostly dark, the only light coming from the lamp on the table where Sam was reading, just the way it was when he'd closed his eyes in the first place. There's a twinge in his neck like somebody's been at his spine with dull pliers and his leg aches like a bastard gnomefucker and Sam is fucking gone. "Sam?" he says anyway, in case maybe Sam's managed to conceal himself behind the, the fucking drapes or something. Anything. Dean would take bizarro hide n' seek over pretty much everything else; all he'd have to do to make Sam okay again is convince him that the devil staring at him from the other side of the cabin, or next to Dean on the couch, or wherever the hell it is this time, isn't real. Which is getting to be really fucking routine, but he can be uncomfortable about that sometime later, like after he's found his damn brother, because Sam's not answering, because Sam left.

Sam left, though he sure as hell couldn't have driven anywhere unless he's managed to hallucinate a drivable car, and, Dean realizes as the sound finally makes its way through the oh-fuck blaze of panic (take your brother outside and look out for Sammy, son and Sam on his knees with a knife in his back and Sam standing for an instant before all that depthless, dimensionless black, all at once, like each was only yesterday), it's raining.

Middle of the goddamn night in the middle of goddamn nowhere, and it's raining, and Sam chooses now to wander off. That's -- just like Sam, actually, and another time, maybe that'll be funny. Right now, not so much.

His phone's on the coffee table, next to a half-empty glass of water and his pills. He dials, and a couple of seconds later, Sam's cell begins to vibrate on the kitchen counter, rattling against a coffee mug and chirping a jaunty, utterly empty little tune. Hell muzak, Dean would have said once, before he actually went to hell. He snaps his own phone closed and the cabin falls dead silent once more, save for the rain against the windowpanes.

"Fuck," he says, which isn't really sufficient. "Goddamn it, Sam, if I break my leg again going after your giant ass," and then he stops, because, what, it'll suck to be me, again? It's not like I got a choice? Hope Bobby comes back before the bears eat our bodies? He opts for "chinga tu bitch culo, dude" -- which will work pretty well as last words, too, should it come to that, thank god for educational TV -- and reaches for the crutches.

In retrospect, he should maybe have paced that slower, because what happens when horizontal becomes completely-vertical in less than three seconds is probably another one of the things he's got the pills for, and fuck, he would gladly give anything for Sam to come through the front door right now, even if it would mean that he'd heard the sound Dean just made.

The door doesn't open. Times like this, it never does. Dean grits his teeth and waits for his vision to clear. He could sit back down, he knows, but it's more than likely he wouldn't be able to get back up, and he's not going to go crawling after Sam on his hands and -- knee, singular, not if he can help it. It's not that bad, he tells himself. He's had worse. Don't be a pussy.

The pills would make this easier, of course, but he's also not going to go after Sam any more stoned than he already is, because if something's wrong (and what the fuck isn't), if something happened, Sam's going to need him as close to functional, useful, as possible, and he's already down a goddamn leg. He'll just -- man up, take it one step at a time (and try not to think about what the fuck's happening to Sam, what's already happened to him, what's going to happen to him even just in the time it takes Dean to get out the door, because it's not going to help, not right now; there'll be plenty of time later for him to hate himself for letting it happen), and once they're both back safely, take as many goddamn painkillers as he wants; Sam had better keep his stupid medical advice and admonitory looks and fucking height advantage to himself.

It's not until he's made it outside at last, is standing (such as it is) on the front porch and contemplating how he's going to get down what's seriously a pathetic, no-problem-at-all number of stairs, that he realizes it might have been a good idea to grab a jacket. Seeing as how it's pouring down rain and all. And a flashlight, that might have been another good idea. Sure, and he could have duct-taped it to one of the crutches, right, that wouldn't have gotten in his way at probably the worst possible moment.

Fuck it. Spilt milk, no use crying over, all that bullshit. He's lost enough time already, no way's he going to waste more of it going back, not with Sam going through Lucifer-knows-what. He hunches into his collar as much as he can, considering that he has to be able to maneuver the goddamn crutches, and he takes the next step. His breath hitches and the step turns into a stagger turns into a stumble--

Hey, there's always the chance that the crutches will catch on the stairs, he'll trip, and it'll be lights out, goodnight Gracie, see you on the other side. Hell, maybe Sam's there already and they can have a nice big family reunion--

He catches his balance in time to avoid falling, and he keeps going. At the bottom of the stairs, he calls out Sam's name, Sammy ringing out as loud and strong and sure as he can make it and dissolving quick as the beat of wings into the clattering rain and endless storm-churned sky.

When Sam doesn't respond, Dean lets himself catch his breath for a count of three and then heads for the trees. The nail-chill of rain sliding down the back of his shirt almost begins to counter the ground-glass splinters of his leg, the knots of nausea glittering hard in his stomach, or at least he can tell himself as much, and as long as he keeps his grip tight on the crutches, his hands don't shake at all.

--

"Hell," Lucifer says, "is other people." He's wearing Sam's face and as he speaks, he flicks the lighter in his hand open and shut, open and shut. If Sam tries hard enough, he'll remember where it came from, where he is now, because hell isn't real, is in his head, and that means it's restricted to what he can remember (or imagine, Lucifer says, or imagine, and oh, Sammy, the things you're gonna imagine, but that's a different memory, that one's newer). But it's only a cheap plastic Bic, bright blue, and it could have been lifted from any gas station at any point in his entire life, and if he can't recall what he knows happened, how can he be sure that the things he can recall really did happen?

Behind Lucifer, Jessica is burning in slow-motion, but she's screaming the same way she always does. That seems like it should violate some law of physics or another, until he remembers that hell doesn't have physics, or at least has a set of its own. It was one of the first things he learned when he got here.

"That's cliché," Sam says, and looks away from the burning body of his lover because if he looks too long, he might get used to it, and then it won't matter at all.

The second he stops caring will be the second there will be nothing left of him for Dean to save, when at last Dean saves him, when Dean gets him out.

"See, that's my point exactly." Lucifer is himself again, or at least wearing the image of the bastard who'd said yes. "Imagine how much easier this would be for you if you'd just for a second stop thinking about other people." Jessica's screams turn into Dean's so smoothly that Sam can't tell when she stopped and when Dean began.

"I stop, I'm not me anymore." Sam says it loudly so that he at least doesn't have to hear the sound his brother's flesh makes when the claws tear it open, which shouldn't even be audible beneath Dean's screams. He hears it anyway; he always does. "And that would make this a lot less fun for you."

"Now, it's very gentlemanly of you to want to make it good for me, but that's where you're wrong. Oh, I'll miss these charming little philosophical discussions, sure, but, Sam, there is always gonna be something for us to do together. Always gonna be some new way to Humpty Dumpty you all over again. You think you gotta be, as you so quaintly put it, 'you,'" -- Lucifer doesn't actually do the finger quotes with the word, but Sam sees them anyway -- "to beg for me to just, just for one half of a microsecond, stop, I don't know, dragging you through broken glass after I skin you alive?" He shrugs. "And I'm not even trying with that one. Total amateur hour, as you, my friend, know."

Just like that, Dean's screams turn to sobs, this horrible gasping noise that Sam can't remember ever hearing even once in his whole life, but which he nonetheless knows instinctively, knows without needing to look over and verify (and he can't look over, won't. He won't be able to look at the expression on Dean's face and not give in, not tell Lucifer to take whatever he wants, do whatever he wants to Sam if only it'll make that stop), and how can that be true, how can Sam know that without remembering how he knows?

"You wanna know a secret?" Lucifer says. "I made it up. That sweet, sweet music your brother's making? Never happened, not while you were around." He smiles and Sam feels something that he once would have called his heart breaking but which he knows now is far worse. He's seen his heart, bleeding and beaten and broken, and each time he'd thought that he would die with it, that something would end.

This time, Sam understands that it never will. And he wonders what shows on his face, because Lucifer's smile grows wider. "I made it up just like I made up this whole 'got out of hell' fantasy you are so unbelievably attached to," he says. "Your little resolution to keep caring about people, to keep letting them hurt you? My god, by which I guess I mean little ol' me, you didn't honestly think I wouldn't find some way to take all that bright and shiny steel and turn it back on you, right? Hey, Sam, how's life feel without a soul, huh? Doin' all that stuff you did? Or, well, not life, really, but boy, I sure had you going."

Sam opens his mouth, but no sound comes out; there is nothing he can say, nothing he has left. He lets himself fold slowly to the ash-grey ground; his bones ache and his skin feels bruised, but it's only revelation, after all.

Most of the weapons in hell's arsenal draw blood.

--

By the time Dean shouts himself hoarse, he's not sure how long he's been out here, picking his way over rocks and soggy moss, catching the crutches on fallen branches and exposed roots and each one jarring his cast worse than the last. Judging from the way his leg hurts, his stomach a knot of live-wire nausea and he's tasting blood from the effort of trying not to be sick, it's at least half an hour past the last time he was meant to take his pills, but maybe the way that he's not quite sure that he can feel his hands anymore makes up for that. If not for the fact that he hasn't yet fallen over, he wouldn't be able to tell whether he's maintaining his hold on the crutches.

It's still raining, but the trees are tangled and the forest is dark enough that it wouldn't matter anyway; he still wouldn't be able to see for shit. He's already drenched; now the rain's only bad when it gets in his eyes.

"Sam," he says, and again it comes out too goddamn quiet, too goddamn raspy. "Sam, man, I really need you, here. If you hear me, Sammy, I'm real, okay? Just -- come back to me. Come on. Sammy, please. My voice's kinda fucked up, but it's me--" and his voice gives out on him again, leaves him gasping please.

The bitch of it is that, this whole time, he's been able to see the cabin. He's been maybe three hundred feet from it at any time, made a circle around the perimeter, and that's nothing. Sam could be anywhere.

Sam could be long gone. Sam could be dead. And even if by some miracle Dean does happen to stumble across him, Sam will have been going through hell this whole time; no matter what, Dean's going to be too late to save him, just as he has been every single time it really mattered, every single time Sam has needed him the most.

If Dean's next breath sounds dangerously ragged, well, at least there's nobody around to hear. And it's not like there's as much of a difference between it and the previous fifty fucking billion breaths or however else many he's taken in the last howeverthefucklong he's been out here, anyway. He's not sure how much longer he'll be able to do this, how much more his body will take before it refuses to go any further, no matter how many times he tells himself to get back up for Sam's sake. Which is a stupid thought; of course he'll keep going as long as Sam might need him, just as he always has. Which has gotten him exactly here, stumping around in the fucking middle of fucking Fangorn with a busted leg feeling like it's full of knives and a brother who's gone AWOL 'cause imaginary Satan keeps talking to him.

Fuck. Sonofabitchbastardmotherfuckingcocksucki--

He realizes that he's speaking aloud, a thin and frantic whisper the way somebody else might say a Hail Mary in their own goddamn hour of need, and he snickers a little at that because they'd better hope she doesn't actually show up, not if she's like any of the rest of those dickbag lunatic douchewallet psychopaths in her family.

But, fuck, that's not a good sign. "Sammy," he says, as loudly as he can, which isn't very loud at all, "I think I might be goin' a little crazier out here. Any time you wanna come back, dude," but there's nothing but the rush of rain and the rattling of waterlogged, storm-jostled leaves and his own stupid breath, which is starting to sound more like a whine. "Fuckin' leg," he says, more observation than anything else, and manages to unclench one clumsy hand from a crutch so that he can get some of this fucking water off of his face, because he's stood still for too long and now it's collecting on his eyelashes. It's hard enough to keep his goddamn eyes open without that.

Sam's in hell, he tells himself, reminds himself, and this is nothing compared to that. Sam needs Dean to keep looking, he needs Dean to find him, to bring him back like goddamn Eurydice and of course Sam's always gotta be a girl about fucking everything. "'m coming, Sam, hang on," he says mostly to himself, and he heaves the crutches forward again as the forest lurches around him, and they almost land solidly, right up until that last second when the one on the right glances off the rainslick half-buried root he should have seen and angles back towards him and he's falling and he hadn't really meant it before, what he'd said about the stairs, because he can't leave Sammy down there by himself and when the cast hits the ground, a scream goes supernova in his leg.

In the breath before he loses consciousness, he realizes that he's managed to fail his brother one more time.

--

It's raining in hell, which doesn't seem like it should be possible. Not real rain, anyway, not water. Sam remembers the blood and how it got in his skin so deep he couldn't scrub it off for days and even after it dried, it was somehow still sticky, but he doesn't remember real rain, not even once, in Lucifer's cage.

That doesn't mean anything. There are lots of things he doesn't remember, and none of them make a damned bit of difference. What matters is the way Lucifer looks skyward and Sam could swear that for a moment, his smirk turns sour.

"The rain is real," Sam says, and moves before he can think himself out of it, presses his thumb against the ragged black stitches Dean'd put into his palm, once neat and quick as though he'd worried Sam would feel the needle even while unconscious but now stretched drunken and haphazard. The touch doesn't hurt, not yet, but he remembers that it used to ground him, and the memory is reassuring. "You're not, you're not doing that. This."

Lucifer raises his eyebrows. "And we're back to this routine. You know, I was wondering how long it'd take."

"You're not real," Sam says. "I'm hallucinating you right now, and wherever I am, it's raining, and I know that."

"But how do you know what you know, Sam? That's the thing, isn't it. You don't." He shrugs. "But, hey, like you said, maybe the forecast just happened to call for a little bit a' sanity right now, a little break in the crazy-clouds outta the blue. Which seems more likely?"

If Sam answers the question, he'll lose this. Whatever it is. Moment of clarity, sanity, maybe. He won't meet the devil's eyes. He won't. He pushes his thumb harder against his palm, feels the skin split again. The seep of his blood is warmer than the rain, which splatters like salt tears against his face.

"Hey, Sam, parting shot?" Lucifer's smirk is sharp again, satisfied, curling like benthic smoke. "How much you wanna bet maybe my expression back there just a minute ago was what the experts call 'acting?' See you when you get back."

He snaps his fingers, and he's gone, just like that. And Sam is alone, breathing heavily in a rainsoaked old-growth forest which he gradually recognizes as the one which surrounds Rufus' cabin, while clouds break above him and spill cold metallic water to the hungry earth.

In the dark, his own blood looks black, and he cannot be certain when he last drank from a tap, when he last drank something that wasn't bottled or canned and seal-still-intact.

A branch cracks somewhere off to his left and he blinks, realizes that he has no idea how long he's been standing there. Judging from the sodden weight of his clothes, it's been awhile, though it could have only been minutes, if the storm had been more violent a few moments before.

He's been here long enough, anyway, and he needs to go back inside. He needs to come up with a good excuse, too, in case Dean's awake, in case he asks where Sam went and why he looks like he went goddamn scuba diving in his clothes. Even if he doesn't ask, he'll wonder, and Sam wants to be able to tell him, tell him something reassuring, something safe. He doesn't like the way Dean looks whenever Sam tells him the truth, as though he's suddenly come up against something from which he cannot shield Sam and the knowledge has rendered him purposeless, defeated.

It's not the first time he hasn't been able to save Sam from something, and the way their lives are going, it probably won't be the last, but if Sam can at least keep from reminding him about it, that'll -- be something.

Not much, but something.

It doesn't take Sam long at all to get back to the cabin -- four minutes, tops -- during which time he decides to hope that Dean's still asleep or is at least out of it enough not to notice that his brother's gone Diluvian, as the best Sam's been able to come up with is I wanted to go for a walk and I didn't notice that it was raining, which not only makes him sound like he should maybe be wearing a special helmet in case he falls, but which he's pretty sure Dean would see through in about the length of time it took for Sam to finish the sentence.

So he walks as quietly as he can up the front stairs, and he grips the doorknob tightly so that it won't rattle (and okay, maybe his balance still isn't that great, his hand-eye coordination coming and going, but Dean does not need to know that) as he turns it, and he pushes open the door, and he does not see his brother.

It's not really cause for alarm. Not usually, anyway. Not when Dean can fucking walk by himself, can make his way to the bathroom without lumbering like a myopic T-rex and knocking a crutch against the coffee table and his cast against the doorframe and swearing at whatever goddamn fucking midget lumberjacks built the cabin, and that would be kind of funny, except for how Dean's usually bone-pale and sweating at the time and how Sam knows that the lack of mobility's killing him, might hurt just as much as the broken bone does.

So, yeah, not seeing Dean might not be a problem normally, but right now, it's scaring the fuck out of Sam.

"Dean," he says, just in case Dean's fallen over again and is maybe lying wedged behind the couch, but Dean doesn't answer. It takes two minutes for Sam to clear the cabin, and when he tries his brother's cell, it rings from the coffee table, right next to the bottle of pills and the glass of water Sam remembers refilling a lifetime ago.

Lucifer picks up one of the paperbacks from what's passing for the kitchen table and flips through it. "Louis L'amour? Thought westerns were more your brother's thing," he says, and Sam look away, looks somewhere else. Anywhere else.

Dean's jacket is still here. Dean's jacket is still here, dangling from one of the nails next to the front door, and if Dean had gone anywhere voluntarily, surely he'd have taken it with him. Sam bites his tongue, hard, and it makes his eyes sting, and he's dripping blood and water onto Rufus' floor and Dean is gonegonegone and Lucifer is chuckling fondly, paternally, except Dad never laughed like that and suddenly the glass is on its side on the coffee table and Dean's phone is soaked and Sam is on his knees and his knuckles are already reddening with the beginnings of bruises.

He thinks he might have broken something in his hand, but at least now he's alone in the cabin.

Alone, because Dean is gone. And if Dean had been taken, there would be signs of a struggle. Dean wouldn't have gone easily, Dean who insisted on wearing one stupid boot even when he was confined to the couch, because I might be a sitting fuckin' duck, dude, but that don't mean I'm gonna die in my damn socks.

You'd still die in your socks, Sam had said, or at least your sock, Hopalong. You'd just have a boot over it, and Dean had chucked the remote control at his head, except his aim had been off and it had nearly hit Bobby instead.

Even if Dean had been stoned out of his mind, Sam's pretty sure he would have managed to knock something over if he'd been taken. Sam hopes. Which means that Dean left of his own accord, which he would only do if the cabin were on fire or--

Or if he woke up and Sam was gone and Bobby wasn't here to go on a retrieval mission.

Fuck.

"Dean, you're a goddamn moron." Sam gets to his feet, supporting himself with his good hand against the couch. The flashlight's where Bobby left it, and Sam grabs Dean's jacket, too. Dean could have just left; Sam might have missed him by seconds, or at least minutes. Sam will find him, and make him put on the jacket he was too fucking worried about Sam to remember, and drag him back to the cabin. Carry him, if he has to, no matter how much Dean bitches.

"It's a good plan," Lucifer opines from the couch, his feet resting on the coffee table. "But you know what they say about good plans, don't you? Hey, new game, Sam, let's call it 'how long you gonna look before you call in the helicopters and tell the pond scum exactly where to find you?'"

"I'm gonna find him," Sam says, and, fuck, he's not meant to be talking to Lucifer. Not aloud, not at all. If Sam ignores him, he'll get bored and stop taunting Sam. Just like Dean does whenever Sam tries ignoring him, right, because that always works.

Lucifer nods. "Sure thing, kiddo. Think he'll thank you when you do? 'Cause it's not like your brother's got a death wish or anything, right? Not like his last thoughts weren't something like, I don't know, Sammy I'm glad it's over Sam I'm sorry so fucking sor--" and he looks at Sam with Dean's face, with Dean's eyes.

This time, Sam's certain something breaks in his hand; he sees it, white flare behind his eyes as the bone snaps, colliding with the wall, and he gasps despite himself.

The couch is empty.

He opens the front door and steps back out into the rain.

--

The forest seems darker now than it did a moment ago, now that the flashlight is shining one single insufficient yellow beam and making the shadows seem deeper in comparison, but at least the rain's slowed to a drizzle, nothing more than the chill of railroad mist at the back of Sam's neck. "Dean!" The shout echoes among the trees, ricochets off of trunks until it fades into nothing more than dripping water and the branches breaking beneath his boots. "Dean, man, where are you," but there's no answer and maybe there never will be an answer, maybe it's just him, now, him and Lucifer and no Dean to make it okay even when Sam knows he's lying, and then the flashlight beam swings across something other than rocks and scrub and bark.

Dean's cast is very white, amidst the black, even though Sam knows it must be dirty, must be wet, and when Sam goes to his knees beside his brother, he sees that Dean's skin is very nearly the same color. And Dean's eyes are closed and Sam could swear he feels ice when he touches his brother's shirt, even though he knows that's ridiculous, and when he touches his brother's face, Dean does not move, and Sam sees blood along his hairline and reaches at last, though he's terrified of what he will find, to touch his brother's neck, to feel for a pulse; he tells himself that his hand is cold, that his hand is shaky, that just because he doesn't feel one won't mean that one isn't there and--

Dean's pulse is thin and slow and Sam hardly feels the pain in his broken hand as he hauls Dean up. He knows that the movement has to hurt his brother, has to jar his leg, but Dean's head lolls against Sam's chest and he does not open his eyes, and if Sam still believed in anything other than the weight he's holding against him now, he might have said a prayer of thanks.

Instead, he says, "Jesus fuck, Dean, what the hell did you do to yourself," and this time, it takes him a lot longer than four minutes to get back to the cabin.

--

The fire's been crackling in the woodstove, casting wild wraith-shadows across the ceiling, for three hours before Dean rouses enough to say more than "fuck," "leg," or "Sammy," though even then it's just a blurry "fuck, Sammy, 's wrong with my leg" before he's out again. He looks better, now, buried beneath every motheaten, storage-musty blanket Sam could find in the cabin, though his eyes glitter, his pupils huge, when he manages to open them. Better that than his eyes crinkling with pain, Sam tells himself, better that than the lines around his mouth deepening and making him look like an old man, even though this means Sam's going to be alone with the devil all night long.

"C'mon, it's not that bad," Lucifer says. He leans over the couch to run his fingers through Dean's hair where it's sticking up like a little kid's and making Sam's heart hurt. "You got Dean back, right? Made sure he's not gonna bail on you for the next coupl'a hours? Sure, it's your fault he's like this in the first place, but you got him right where you want him, huh? And now it's just you and me, buddy boy, no Dean-o to get in the way."

"Don't touch him," Sam says, and knots the dish towel tight around his hand. He can bandage it later, maybe. If he gets that far. "Don't you fucking touch him."

Lucifer pauses with his fingers curled above Dean's ear, his mouth a moue of mock surprise. "But I thought I was in your head," he says. "Wasn't that your theory? Let's put it to the test. You want me to stop, make me."

The towel is stained with red, and Sam thinks he hears the small bones of his hand grinding against each other, setting his teeth on edge and making his eyes water and not doing anything else, anything that matters.

Lucifer is smiling.

--

The house is on fire; Dean can hear the flames crackling, can smell the wood turning slowly to char, but his eyelids are weighted down and it takes too fucking long to get them open, too fucking long for them to focus after that, and by then he's figured out that the house isn't on fire at all, he's not even in a house, he's in that goddamn cabin in the middle of whereverthefuck, middle of nowhere, Montana. "Sam?" he says, and his voice comes out slurred, scratched. Tidewracked. Stormwracked, and where the fuck is Sam. "Sammy?" He still can't make himself shout, but apparently Sam heard him anyway because a second later, his brother's leaning over him, close enough that his hair falls against Dean's face. Dean leans into it, long strands brushing his cheek, for a moment before he realizes what he's doing and makes himself pull back.

"I'm right here," Sam says, and there's something wrong with his voice, too.

Dean blinks. "You on the floor?"

"Uh," Sam says, and pauses like he has to think about it. "Yes?"

"Uh," Dean echoes. Maybe he's slightly more stoned than he'd thought, because he thinks his eyes might drift closed for a second again while he tries to remember what it is he wants to ask. He wouldn't mind, but somebody's got to be there to ground Sam, to go after Sam the next time he gets lost. He makes himself focus, makes himself pay attention. "Why?"

Most of Sam disappears from Dean's vision, though he can still see what he thinks is the top of Sam's head, leaning against the couch cushion. Sam mumbles something that sounds like makesureyoudin'tleave and swallows heavily. The fire, safely confined to the woodstove, pops and Dean can't hear the rain anymore. "'cifer kept saying you would, said he'd make it so I'd close my eyes and then."

Goddamn figments. "Not goin' anywhere." Whatever the fuck Lucifer's been telling Sam, he's been lying. All Lucifer ever does is lie, and as soon as Dean can enunciate again, he'll remind Sam about that. In the meantime, "Swear," he manages.

"Yeah," Sam says, and lets out a breath like a sigh, and Dean closes his eyes again to the scent of woodsmoke and whiskey and home. Home, in the way Sam is beside him, almost breathing against him like he used to when they were kids, small enough to share a bed, side by side against every goddamn thing that might have torn them down, torn them apart. And it makes sense at last, Sam on the floor beside him with whiskey on his breath because of what the devil's been saying; the devil's more real these days than any memory of how things used to be, bloodstained but still sure, a war and several lifetimes before. Dean reaches out clumsily and connects with Sam's head on what he thinks is the third try, damp hair skeining around his fingers, and neither of them say anything, and the fire snaps and spits and neither of them sleep.

--

end

(11 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:tifaching
Date:October 18th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)
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That was devastatingly awesome. God, what Sam must be going through in his head,and the pain he has to put himself through to stop it. And Dean. Never going to just let Sam go, no matter what it costs him. Ditto for Sam with Dean.

So good.
From:ursa1ita
Date:October 18th, 2011 02:03 am (UTC)
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This was wonderful. I think you captured Sam and Dean beautifully. I loved the parts with Sam and Lucifer and Dean's stubborn determination. Thank you for sharing.
[User Picture]
From:tcs1121
Date:October 18th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC)
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That was awesome.
[User Picture]
From:borgmama1of5
Date:October 18th, 2011 04:30 am (UTC)
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Brutal.

Every moment of their frantic searches for each other cut like a knife!
[User Picture]
From:embroiderama
Date:October 18th, 2011 11:18 am (UTC)
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This is so intense, I love it!
[User Picture]
From:lazy_8s
Date:October 18th, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC)
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Absolutely gorgeous! Dean and Sam can never be separated for long, broken leg and hallucinations nonwithstanding. 'sighs' And, Lucifer's creeply witty banter was pretty awesome here. Loved it.
[User Picture]
From:i_speak_tongue
Date:October 18th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
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That was brilliant. I love how desperate and determined Dean is, and you really captured that head-space brilliantly. Sam's conversations with Lucifer were really well done as well. Excellent!
[User Picture]
From:de_nugis
Date:October 19th, 2011 02:10 pm (UTC)
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I love the atmosphere of mutual panic in this, how they are both barely hanging on by the thread of being there for each other. And I love the scenes between Lucifer and Sam, that cruel mixture of truth and lies, especially regarding Dean's death wish. For all that they have sheer willpower and not leaving the other alone out there on their side, one of them could so easily let go, Sam to permanent madness, Dean to passive suicide
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From:rince1wind
Date:October 20th, 2011 02:01 am (UTC)
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Very nice. Thanks!
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From:harrigan
Date:October 20th, 2011 01:52 pm (UTC)
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I saw your name in the list of fills so far and couldn't wait to read it. And as always, you exceed my hopes!

You just have a magic wand with words - they're evocative and lyrical and I always find myself wishing I could craft a story like this. But what really gets me this time is the boys. I *love* the way you filled the prompt - giving us both POVs and gutting us with what they are going through, and keeping it so completely in character and in canon.

Have you announced this at some fic community that the spn_newsletter monitors? This needs more readers asap!
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From:si_star_x
Date:November 6th, 2011 09:17 am (UTC)
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This was fantastic! And you left it so open that now I just have a whole load of lovely images of Dean getting sick and hurting and Sammy looking after him. Awesome.

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