I Hate This Song

Summary: Sam Winchester was ready to die.

A/N: AU from the end of Road Trip. Title from Secondhand Serenade's song of the same name.


Sam Winchester has been ready to die for years.

He was willing to throw in the towel when Dean and Cas vanished from the face of the earth, when everyone who mattered was dead and gone and every day was hollow and meaningless. He wanted to make the ultimate sacrifice when he let Lucifer wear his skin, pay for his sins with his death, which really was the least he could do to make up for unleashing the devil on the world. He was too tired to fight when over a hundred years of Hell tore his mind apart. He begged for it on the nights he felt his skin constrict with the need for demon blood, when he screamed his way through detox. He tried to drink himself to oblivion when Dean was in Hell and there wasn't a single demon who would trade his worthless soul for his brother. He should have stayed dead when Jake stabbed him in the back so many years ago. What's dead should stay dead and Sam wishes he had.

Sam thinks that if God had any mercy he would have burned on the ceiling along with Jess. Instead of Jess. In the nursery instead of his mother.

Sam Winchester has been ready to die for a long, long time.

Dean calls and Cas answers and Sam stays in bed, trying to shut out everything and everyone. He should be done with all of this already. He is done with all of this. There's nothing worth talking about, nothing worth doing, nothing left to believe in or hope for or pray to.

Sometimes Cas comes in and sits by his bed, offers up leads for hunts or tells him stories of days long since gone or simply stares like Sam is a puzzle even an angel can't figure out. Sam ignores him. He keeps dreaming about the cabin where Death came to collect him personally, and the loss he feels, the betrayal of having that torn away at the last minute, eats away at his insides, leaves him empty. After a while, the cabin is gone and he watches Kevin's eyes burn out every time he falls asleep, relives the moment he chose to believe in a Dean who wasn't real and turned away from death. He always chooses wrong.

A sour scent of sweat and despair clings to the bare walls of Sam's room. Cas is trying to make sense of a thermometer Sam doesn't remember using and asking questions Sam doesn't answer.

Cas says, "You don't have a fever but you appear to have some kind of sickness." He says, "I don't understand. Do you feel unwell?"

Sam doesn't feel anything, aside from the all-consuming need for everything to be over. Sam is done but life is not done with him. He falls asleep and dreams of waking up again and again and again.

Sam Winchester is ready to die.

When Dean shows up, his face is still tense with guilt but not enough to stop him from dragging Sam out of bed and forcing him into the shower. Sam wonders if Cas called him or if Dean just knew. He doesn't have the energy to put up a fight, can't remember when he last ate or got some proper rest that wasn't filled with nightmarish memories that aren't his, so he lets Dean manhandle him, lets Dean do whatever he wants because that's what Dean always does anyway. The warmth of the shower doesn't seem to penetrate his skin and the steam makes him lightheaded.

Dean says, "Sammy, I'm so sorry." He says, "Sam, what the hell are you playing at?"

Sam's not playing at anything. All he wants is for this to be over. He wants all this to stop.

But Dean gets him out of the shower and dresses him like he's a child and Cas makes soup that's mostly broth. Dean tucks him into bed and feeds it to him and makes all kinds of promises about how things will get better and Sam will be okay, and there's no point at all in trying to protest because Dean will never, ever make the one promise Sam wants to hear.

Dean will never let him die. This is never going to be over.