|Press The Wound
Author: JALU PM
Season 7 AU. Sam never lost his soul, but the memories of Hell never leave. His hallucinations consume him, the memories of hell burning throughout his body. Dean is the only person in the world who knows what it's like to return from such a place. COMPLETE!Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Angst - Sam W. & Dean W. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 19,734 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 16 - Updated: 03-16-13 - Published: 12-05-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8768674
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Season 7 AU. It loosely follows the first half of season 7, but Sam never lost and regained his soul; these demons are here from Hell itself. Parts of plot and dialogue have been taken and/or altered from canon episodes. Remember it is an AU, therefore subject to sway from the canon storyline. No copyright intended. I have gone back and forth as to whether I have included wincest. It's probably between the lines, but take it as you will.
Rating is a T for language and imagery...but it borders on an M. If you ever reach a point where you think I should up that rating - please let me know. I don't want to offend anyone.
Disclaimer: Supernatural belongs to its rightful owners. No copyright intended.
Chapter One: Real Illusions
Even back in the real world, Lucifer's voice never left him. Or was it the real world? The devil's voice rang in his ears "You're still in the cage." "You're still in the cage." You never left, Sam." But he did escape, he knew he did. Sam could remember waking up with light in his eyes and this blissful feeling of absolutely nothing; no pain, no fear, no guilt. There was even air now where he was, trees rustling in it and birds chirping.
For that moment, Sam forgot about everything in his life.
Then Lucifer had been calling to him. When Sam's eyes swept open and he looked around, however, the man was nowhere to be seen. He closed his eyes again. The voice returned, "Sammy...". That was the start of Sam never sleeping through the night.
He had opened his eyes and stood, making the long walk to find the only person who might be able to help him.
That was almost two years ago. Now the voice was still there, but this time it invaded his memory even when he was awake. Even Dean was starting to notice, and that was the last thing Sam needed.
"Sam? You there?"
Sam shook his head and cleared his throat, ignoring the voice and paying attention to his brother. "Yeah, sorry, what did you say?"
Dean raised his eyebrows "I asked if you wanted a beer, but since you already seem to be drunk enough..."
Sam just shook his head again. "Nah, I'm fine. Just...gonna get some air."
Dean nodded, the creases of confusion still embedded on his forehead. "Okay, man. Be quick, I want to get back to Bobby's and talk about this poltergeist problem."
"I'll just be a second, going to get a coke."
Sam left the motel room and ambled along and between the cars parked outside the rooms. He had all but forgotten about the poltergeist he and Dean had been attempting to track down for the last week. Sam was just being this useless tagalong for all the hunts recently, and he could tell that Dean was starting to notice.
"Even in your fantasy world you've become a burden."
He didn't even flinch at the voice anymore, or look around and try to see who was saying it. Sometimes there were visual hallucinations, but not today. He couldn't feel Lucifer's presence anywhere but in his mind.
"You know you could just come back here. Never much of a burden to me, Sammy."
"Stop calling me that." He kept his voice low, almost sounding like a wild hiss.
"Aw, why? Is that Dean's special name for you? Sammy, Sammy, Sammy."
Sounded like the patronising school girls, singing the K-I-S-S-I-N-G song, only this time it was coming from someone who was quite possibly millions of years old. If he was even real.
"Oh, I'm very real, Sammy."
Sam chose to try and ignore that. He was still trying to convince himself that there was nothing in his mind, just leftover fear and craziness from the time spent in hell. He wasn't there anymore, he was here in this world. In this reality.
"How do you seriously think you could have escaped, Sam? I don't keep my box one key fits all. I let you in, I take you out. That's just the way it works."
"Shut up," Sam said, and then looked up to see a child scurrying across the car park with his eyes never leaving Sam.
"See, even a kid thinks your nuts and I'm sure he has an imaginary friend."
Sam kept walking, noticing how the night was becoming darker and wondering just how long he had been out here -
"Only about ten minutes. Time sure stands still when you're with someone you love!"
- and if Dean would come looking for him. Sam hoped he wouldn't, he didn't want to have any chick flick moments of explanation. At least out here, it was only him and his mind -
"You mean me, Sammy?"
- and no one else had to be a part of what he was going through. Just up to Sam himself. He swallowed down the memories of what that did to him in the past, and was grateful that Lucifer didn't chime in with his two cents, either.
The kid had now found his way back into a motel room. Maybe more to keep his thoughts from his sanity than anything, Sam started to speculate on just why that child was here. As far as he knew, and admittedly that wasn't much, it was in the midst of the school year.
Sam could remember how he and Dean would be pulled out in the middle of the school year for another hunt. It went on for years until Sam put his foot down and demanded that he stay in school, just for that chance at a normal life. It wasn't the normal life most people would search for, moving from school to school every month, but it was close enough as a Winchester.
"You, normal?" A scoff. "Sam, don't you remember our little trip down memory lane?"
Only all too well. Seeing all of those demon eyes in the people he thought were his friends at one point. He could easily remember that deep fear of dread, fear, of that his life was spiralling out of control. Sam walked faster, turning to start a lap of this car park.
"You can't run, Sam. Can't you see that?"
He kept going, legs at a speed walk and heart at a run. His head was clouded with his own thoughts, thoughts he no longer seemed able to escape. He shivered, suddenly, and knew that he was here.
"Happy to see me?"
Sam didn't even look up. With Lucifer right in front of him, the devil's voice was louder and more demanding. Sam kept walking, knowing that he wouldn't run into Lucifer. He'd tried that before, though at that point a knife had been in his hand.
Just a hallucination, a delusion, a fake entity as a result of going through so much trauma. Truth be told, Sam hardly remembered what actually happened in Hell.
Lucifer laughed. "Oh, sure you don't."
I don't. Sam clenched his jaw and rounded the next corner of the lot. Almost back at the door of the room now, and he would be forced to confront Dean again. Dean, the person who was now questioning Sam's every movement. Sam hated that, it made him feel like a little kid again.
"Maybe you like that," Lucifer pestered, "This is your fantasy, after all."
Sam stopped dead then, eyes whipping up to match with Lucifer's. He could remember what it was like to have that entity push Sam's own mind into the tiniest part of his brain and soul. He could remember just what it felt like to have that much evil infesting his body.
"And you loved every second of it."
Without even registering it, Sam had thrown a punch at Lucifer. Stupid move. He then felt a clench on his wrist. That was knew; Lucifer had never been able to touch him before.
"If I were you, I'd think twice before biting the hand that feeds you or, you know, keeps you alive."
Sam ripped his hand away and stumbled backwards, breathing heavy and eyes wild at the sight. "Why don't you just kill me?"
"But where would be the fun in that?" He smirked. "Besides, Sammy, if you die you just end up right back in the hole with me."
Sam followed Lucifer with his eyes as the devil made a wide circle around Sam. Always trying different methods to drive him crazy, but why?
"You should be thanking me, Sam. If it weren't for me, you'd just be down in that cage wasting away with all those demons."
"You put me there in the first place." Sam clenched both his jaw and fists.
"True, true." He smiled and stopped his pacing, taking two steps in toward Sam. Sam noticed he didn't have any breath. "But isn't it fun to have me as your bunk buddy?"
Sam didn't even have to answer. Of course he didn't; Lucifer was a figment of his imagination and would know every thought.
"Be grateful, Sam, I'm letting you see your brother. Down in that cage, it was the only thing you ever wanted. Didn't matter how much we tortured you, you just needed you big brother to protect you." His voice turned patronising at the last part, false puppy dog eyes staring into Sam. He hated him. If ever hatred had filled Sam's heart, it was here right now.
"You know deep down you don't hate me, Sam," Lucifer said, "Given enough time, Stockholm Syndrome will change all of those thoughts in your brain."
Lucifer poked a finger against Sam's temple, leading Sam to shy away. "Calm down, Sam, I was once inside you, remember?" He laughed, the sound deep and grating to Sam's ears. "Sounds dirty when I put it like that, doesn't it?"
Sam didn't say anything, his eyes just moved around the parking lot. He wondered if anyone would notice a full grown man standing here and talking to himself. When he looked back to the place Lucifer had been, no one was there. He couldn't even feel his presence anymore.
Then all that anger and adrenaline that arrived as a result of Lucifer's voice was suddenly gone, and Sam felt shaky on his feet. That was always the case, and he felt sick to admit that it was almost as though Lucifer was keeping him alive.
"I am, Sammy. I'm like your new brother, only I'm always going to be there."
With the voice, the heartbeats picked up again and Sam was on edge once more. At least now he didn't feel like he was either about to throw up or faint. But he hated that. More than the light-headedness, he hated knowing Lucifer was the one who kept him stable.
In a stability that also doubled as insanity.
"Hey, some people call insanity genius."
"I don't want that sort of genius."
He wasn't sure how, but he could feel Lucifer shrugging. "Suit yourself. Would you rather go back to the sleepless nights and slumber parties with me?"
"No," Sam spat.
"Sorry, Sammy, but that wasn't a choice."
"What do you want, to turn me crazy?"
He laughed. "Isn't it a bit too late for that? I mean, I'd like to take all the credit, but that would be a tad blasé."
Sam closed his eyes and squeezed his fists, trying to will Lucifer to leave, trying to will himself back into a state of sanity and rational. He had to have been out here for at least half an hour by now, Dean would be looking for him, and what would it look like when he found Sam out here going crazy?
"He already knows you're crazy. Might as well load him up on all the issues you have. You're both as worthless as each other, always willing to force your problems on each other, until one of you...snaps." Lucifer snapped his fingers and caused Sam to jump. "Sorry, Sammy, didn't mean to startle you there."
"Just leave me alone."
"Uh...um...no. It's fun to see you this drooping, whiny version. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside."
Sam's hands rose to his head and he covered his ears, not that it did anything. Lucifer's voice was louder than ever before.
"Boy, you really are stupid, aren't you? I'm in here!"
His hands lowered and passed over his pockets, where he heard the familiar sound of keys jingling. He hadn't remembered taking the Impala keys from Dean, but when he pulled the metal from his pocket, that's what was there.
"Don't I always provide for you, Sam?"
Sam toyed the keys in his hand and trailed his eyes over to the room where Dean and he were staying. Dean hadn't come out yet, obviously this problem with the poltergeist wasn't as important as Sam thought. Then again, it wasn't like Sam knew anything about the problem -
"You've been too busy bunking with me!"
- it wasn't like Sam even needed to be there at all. Dean had coped perfectly well with all the problems they had confronted since Sam was back – and obviously before, actually, he seemed to have coped even better before. With Ben and Lisa, Dean finally got that normal life Sam had always wanted.
"And you had to go and screw it all up on him, didn't you?"
Even if he was an illusion, even if Lucifer was nothing more than a leftover fragment of Sam's imagination, there was some truth in what he said. Sam swallowed, hard. One thing he couldn't cope with was knowing that he had somehow screwed up his brother's one chance at a happy, normal life.
Ignoring everything, he walked over to the Impala and unlocked the doors. Sam didn't even know what he was going to do, but he did see Dean's silhouette as he drove off onto the highway.
When in the car, Sam spotted something on the dash. A piece of paper. Inconspicuous, but it looked out of place just sitting there.
"That, Sam, would be the address of the next place Dean planned to search. Of course, if you cared about helping your brother at all, you'd already know that." Lucifer had appeared again, riding shotgun in the car as Sam swerved through the traffic. Too fast, but it didn't matter.
Sam snatched at the paper and read over the address. He knew it, an office not far away from here.
"Why should I believe you."
"Don't." Lucifer shrugged. "But since you're so sure I'm just a piece of your mind, shouldn't that in veto make me a part of your memory?"
Sam could vaguely remember that he and Dean had been to that office a couple of days ago. During a brief moment of clarity, he could remember. So Lucifer had a point, and Sam was no longer in a clarified enough stage to consider otherwise. He repositioned the car and took off in the way he best remembered.
"You are planning to take this poltergeist out yourself?" Lucifer asked. "Tsk, tsk. Isn't that a risky move?"
Sam had been taking out poltergeists long before Lucifer made his way into the picture.
"True, true. I'll just keep my big mouth shut and watch how the pro does it, huh?"
Sound a good an idea as any. Sam sped through the night, ignoring the phone that continued to call in both his pocket and the dash, even when Lucifer waggled it in front of his face. Not real, not real, not real. He just repeated that to himself over and over, ignoring Lucifer's insistence that he was wrong, that this whole reality was not real – that Lucifer was the only truthful being in this whole, false universe.
He stopped the car when the building he past registered something in his mind.
"Bones are out back," Lucifer said, following Sam from the car, "At least, that's what I - oh, wait, you – overhead Big Brother saying."
Sam ignored him and went to the door. Of course it was locked, but then Lucifer's hand reached over the handle and the door flew open.
"I'm the leader of Hell, Sammy, and I'm the owner of this world. Your world is whatever I want it to be, understand?"
Sam shivered and walked inside. When the door closed behind them, everything started to change. What should have been an office building now appeared a huge, endless warehouse. Of course he had been screwed over. Lucifer, he wasn't going anywhere. Sam pulled out his gun, and shot.
The presence of Lucifer disappeared, and it was replaced with a deep, booming laughter inside of Sam's own mind.
"Think you can get rid of me that easily?"
"Shut up." Sam held the gun in front of him, swinging his body around the building and waiting to see Lucifer reappear. He didn't even know why he was bothering to try and kill an imaginative figment, but he couldn't bring himself to put the gun away. "You're not real!"
Lucifer reappeared, Sam shot, and nothing happened.
"Want to point that gun at someone useful? Try your face?" He stepped closer, and Sam kept the gun pointed right between the devil's eyes. "Want to know the truth? Want to skip to the last page of the book?"
The gun felt heavy in Sam's hand, he felt it dropping. He also felt his own guard, his own strength, fading away and his mind focusing on Lucifer's suggestion. No...
"You know where to aim." Lucifer moved his fingers into the creation of a gun, and pressed the tip of his index finger against Sam's chin. His voice was like a breath of ice, "Cowboy."
"No." Sam shook his head, but his voice was weak and he couldn't lift his gun. "You're not real."
"Oh, really? How about I show you someone who is real, then?"
He clicked his fingers, and before Sam's very eyes, he watched the devil's features morph into those of his brother.
"You prefer this, Sammy? Can I use the nickname, now?"
Sam couldn't stop staring at how closely resembled Lucifer looked to his brother. Now...now how could he know that anything was real? Or fake? A creation of his mind or a slice of reality?
"You don't know, Sammy, you just have to trust me. Me, the only one who actually tries his best to tell you the truth."
In a reflexive action, the gun rose in front of Sam once more, this time pointed at another image of Dean.
"Woah, woah!" Dean yelled, raising hands in front of himself.
Sam turned to Lucifer. "How do I know he's real?" he yelled.
Lucifer shrugged. "You don't."
"I'm guessing Lucifer's joined us for dinner?"
Sam looked over at the newly arrived Dean, chest heaving as he tried to take this all in. It was too coincidental, way too coincidental, for Dean to walk in just at this moment. He kept staring at who he thoughts was his brother, weapon slowly lowering once more.
"Look at me. Come on. You don't know what's real?" Dean took a small step forward. "Look man, I've been to Hell, okay? I know a thing or two about torture. Enough to know that it feels different than the pain of this." He threw his arms up. "This regular, stupid, crappy this."
Sam shook his head, he couldn't let his guard down and give into this. Not with all the crap Lucifer had been throwing out recently. "How can I know that for sure?"
"Let me see your hand."
Sam held out the hand without the gun.
Dean shook his head. "Trust me just a bit, show me your other hand."
Sam moved his eyes over to the other Dean, the one that he was almost now entirely sure belonged to Lucifer. He continued to stare at him as he felt Dean encircle his hand around the barrel of the gun. Sam raised his other hand for what was likely his brother.
Dean pressed against the bandage covering it. "This is real. Not a year ago, not in Hell, now. I was with you when you cut it, I sewed it up. Look!"
Sam looked down at his hand, watching as his brother squeezed the reddening white and flinched back at the pain he was inflicting. He felt Lucifer's presence weaken.
"This is different. Right? Then the crap that's tearing at your walnut? I'm different. Right?"
Sam pulled his hand away from the pain, leaving his gun now resting in his brother's grasp. "Yeah, you're different."
He saw a smile of relief flicker over Dean's face and then his eyes travelled past to what had now morphed back into its original face of Lucifer. Or at least the new vessel that held him. Sam pressed his hand against the cut, and Lucifer faded in and out again.
"Doesn't mean anything," Lucifer said.
"Hey. I am your flesh and blood brother, okay? I'm the only one who can legitimately kick your ass in real time. You got away, Sammy." Dean's voice was borderline begging, but Sam ignored him. Right now, all that mattered was losing Lucifer.
Sam pressed the wound harder.
"Sammy," Lucifer tried, "I'm the only one who can..."
Harder, and then he was gone. Everything, from his image to his presence. Even his voice in Sam's mind had disappeared. He felt weak, but Dean came over and wrapped his arm around Sam's shoulders.
"I got you," he said, steading Sam.
Sam swallowed in deep gulps of air and pressing his eyes shut against all that had happened. He didn't even understand it, everything having happened so quickly. Was he really prepared to go through with what Lucifer wanted?
He felt Dean squeeze his shoulder, and pulled him from such thoughts. "We'll be okay. Just believe in me. You gotta make it stone number one and build on it. You understand?"
Sam nodded at his brother's words, trying to convince himself of the truth in them, to try and build himself up based on what he knew to be true. He needed to stay grounded, in this reality, with this Dean. He looked into his brother's eyes and knew, really knew, that he was the true Dean, the one who had saved him from a burning all those years ago; the one who had taught him about guns, and the one who protected him from birth until now and beyond.
"You ready to go?" This Dean asked.
"Yeah," Sam replied. With the visions of Lucifer now gone, he was shaky on his feet but moved away from Dean and walked on his own.
Even if Dean would always be there to protect, Sam also knew that he needed to take some responsibility for his own actions and to find some strength in himself. Whether or not Lucifer was real didn't matter, truth still came from his words.
Sam led with Dean following closely behind out the door, and once outside he saw that it wasn't the office he had originally presumed. How did he get there? Had Lucifer, somehow...
Oh, crap. That thought terrified Sam more than anything else ever had or could. The thought that he had been riding shotgun for the devil even now. That was a thought of incomprehensible terror.
"Sam, are you okay?"
Sam went to answer, he didn't remember what happened after that. Next thing he remembered was the sound of Dean's voice.
"Sam, stay with me! You hear?"
Sam heard another voice but couldn't make out the words as he tried to pull his eyelids open. When he finally succeeded, his eyes joined with those oh so recognisable ones of Lucifer.
A smile pulled out over the devil's lips and he shrugged. "Hey, so maybe I'm not real. Nobody's perfect. And I'm not going anywhere, Sam."
The edges of Sam's vision started to blur and he felt himself tumbling away from the world. For all he knew, this was Lucifer's way of pulling him back into the cage.
His name being called by his brother was the last thing Sam remembered before he was pulled away. At least he could go back to the cage with a good memory.