Everywhere they went: emptiness. Cars piling up on the road, purses and briefcases and bags of groceries spilling out in parking lots and sidewalks. The wind blew through and rustled plastic was the only thing Sam could hear, given how slow he was driving.
He certainly wasn't hearing the phone ring with Dean calling him.
He ground his teeth together and forced himself to roll up the window.
They'd left the silo behind with all the empty vehicles and empty beds (empty phone calls to Dean going unanswered) and taken off for the nearest town. Sam had rolled down the window and with Jack's help, they'd shouted to get someone's attention. Anyone's attention.
But no one had answered. (The phone had just kept ringing.)
He carefully wound around another vehicle stopped randomly in the road and kept moving forward. More empty places, a door partially open with only a purse blocking it. Three cars were stopped at a light, haphazardly bumped into each other when the person holding the brake had disappeared. It meant Sam had to take the car up onto the sidewalk to get around, and he silently apologized to Eileen when he heard crunching underneath. She'd have been so pissed—
Phone on the ground, keys waiting, a half-finished message forever done because she'd disappeared just like everyone else—
There was a buzzing sound in Sam's ears that threatened to settle into his bones and leave him a rattling mess in the seat. It was too familiar, from Lucifer in his head to the Trials to Chuck in his head, Chuck always in his head because this was all him, it always had been, and he should've just let Dean kill Chuck while they'd had the chance but they'd never had a chance and now Dean was gone, they were all gone and Dean was gone—
The road in front of him blurred until he blinked and blinked again and wetness rolled down his face. He tasted it, salt and fear, as he gasped and gasped for air. Somehow, they weren't moving, and he realized Jack's foot was wrapped over his leg, jammed down on the brake pedal, his other foot shoving Sam's own foot off the gas. Jack had his hands gripped tight in Sam's jacket and he looked just as frightened as Sam felt.
"Sam?" Jack asked again, his voice higher and shakier than Sam had ever heard it before. "Sam? Sam?"
He managed to get his voice to work. "M'here," he croaked. He coughed and then couldn't stop for a minute. He finally managed to settle it out and forced himself to breathe. Deep breaths. Deep breaths.
Lucifer had done this a handful of times, taking away everyone and everything and leaving him without senses until Sam had begged Lucifer to come back. Then Dean had disappeared to Purgatory, or died and left him alone, or been taken by Michael. Guess Chuck had gotten the idea from his son. Or Lucifer had come by it naturally from his dad.
His left hand was jammed against the steering wheel, palm painfully digging into the grooves, reminding him that this was Eileen's car, but Eileen had never been stone number one. She'd been one of the stones and a good one, one he'd cared about more than he'd thought and they'd been making progress—
His breathing had picked up again and he forced himself to hold it until black dots encroached. Only then did he let it out, chest trembling. His eyes burned again and he dashed his right hand over his face.
Jack still hadn't let go. "M'here," Sam told him again. "We'll, we'll figure it out, okay?"
Jack didn't say anything but he did nod and slowly, tentatively, slid back into his own seat. Only when Sam put his own foot on the brakes did Jack completely pull himself onto his seat where he sat, looking small.
Him and Jack on their own, against Chuck. He wondered if there was anything white in Eileen's car to wave.
Digging his phone out, he tossed it at Jack. "Call Dean again," he said, voice rough. "Just keep trying."
"Should…should I call anyone else?" Jack asked hesitantly. "Maybe Cas?"
No, Castiel would've been with Dean. Outside of them, who else was there to call? Who else would be of any help against God?
It wasn't even like Dean could help him stand against Chuck himself. He was as human and lost as Sam was. For him to ask Sam what to do when Jack had been dying, for him to admit with terror in his eyes that he didn't have a damn clue what to do, it spoke volumes as to how lost Dean felt, too. They were goners. They were sunk.
But it was Dean. It was the best man Sam had ever known, his best friend, his big brother. The guy he loved more than anything else and he wished sometimes that Dean could see it. See how much Sam needed him, how much he mattered to Sam. How much Sam couldn't, wouldn't, do this without him. He couldn't give into the despair that threatened to overwhelm him.
Sam swallowed hard. "Just Dean."
Dean couldn't be gone. He had to still be there. He and Cas had to be okay. They'd, they'd figure it out. Like they always did.
They had to.