Again – thanks to hotshow for insisting I wrap this one up! (And for pushing me to expand on some of Sam's hallucinations.)

A/N - I know NOTHING about drug interactions, so I totally made up that part at the end to make it convenient for Dean, Sam and me.

Interrogation - Escape

"Sammy? What the hell is wrong with you?" Dean shoved Sam around the next corner. "Sshhh!"

Sam pressed a finger to his lips, nodding at Dean. His eyes were fixed on the hawk attached to his brother's head, however. It had Dean's eyes. How did it do that?

Dean motioned to him, and his hand pulsed with color. Cool. Sam followed the ribbon of green and gold Dean trailed. How did the Feds not notice this? They reached the end of the corridor and Dean waved him closer. Sam was a little intimidated by the hawk, but if it listened to Dean, it must be alright. Right?

Dean slipped a pair of handcuffs on his wrists. "Oh! Not again!" Sam stamped his foot with disappointment.

"Shut up," Dean snapped, glancing around the corner. "Now listen to me. You listening, Sammy?"

Sam nodded and he tried real hard to listen. He really did. But there were green laser beams shooting out of his brother's eyes. It would be creepy if it weren't so cool.

"You're my prisoner. Got it?"

Prisoner. Right. Maybe if he just didn't say anything it would all work out.

"Come on," Dean grabbed him by the elbow, guiding him toward the front door. Sam came along peaceably, confident in Dean. There were two men in suits like Dean's at the door. Sam squinted at them because the light here was so very bright, and full of little flying pixies in changing neon colors, so he had a hard time seeing their faces.

Dean flipped open a thin wallet, showing a badge and picture ID. Sam could not help but grin. He had been allowed to pick their names that time. "Agent Ford. I've been instructed to escort the prisoner to a safe house."

"Safe house?" One of the agents took his ID, looking it over. "I wasn't informed of this."

Dean shrugged. "Special Agent Henrickson gave the order personally. Dude, I just follow orders, I don't question them."

"You got that right," Sam mumbled. He felt the pressure on his elbow double, making him wince. But it seemed to satisfy the men at the door, because they stood aside.

"Come on," Dean snatched his FBI ID back and shoved him out into the cool night air. He led them down the front steps and across the parking lot.

"Take these off," Sam held up his hands, clanging the cuffs.

"When we're in the car," Dean snapped. His hawk snapped at Sam too. Sam decided he better behave while that hawk was still around, it was almost as scary as Dean. When Dean shoved him in the car, his brother took a little extra time to take off the cuffs. Sam sighed with relief, rubbing his battered wrists.

Dean sat behind the wheel, watching him massage his wrist. "Let me see," he ordered. Sam obediently held out his wrists. Dean let out a low whistle. "Good thing the bastard hits like a girl, or I might have killed him."

Sam grinned as Dean started up the car. Yep, his brother definitely cared about him. Sam enjoyed the light show as Dean drove through the sleepy little town. Light from the streetlights attached to the shiny black car, trailing waves of light and color behind them. Neon signs bounced in the street, daring Dean to drive through them. One time he did and Sam thought they were going to crash. After that Dean started driving a little slower. But then he saw it: the very worst thing ever to come from some sick, twisted, perverse advertising agency.

"Dean! Dean! Look out!" Sam pointed out the window at a fast food restaurant. "It's a clown!!"

"Sam, the clown isn't going to get you," Dean sounded way too calm. Didn't he understand?

"Dean!" Sam turned to face his brother, full of fury. "Clowns kill!"

"Yes, Sam. I know. But that one isn't going anywhere. Trust me," Dean cut his eyes at Sam. The lasers shot through the window, highlighting the evil clown. Before Sam's very eyes, the clown started to melt.

"Oh, that was so cool. Can we drive back by so you can do it again?" Sam asked, twisting backwards to watch the melting clown.

"Do what again?" Dean was starting to look worried. Wonder why?

"Melt the clown with your laser eyes." Sam sat looking out the front windshield again. "Wish I had laser eyes. Dean? How do you get laser eyes?"

"You know, maybe we should find a hotel room," Dean muttered.

"Why? I'm awake. You tired? I can drive."

"No!" The word shot out of Dean's mouth, red, angry and glowing, and buzzed around the inside of the car before smacking Sam in the face.


"What? What's wrong?" The car was slowing down again as Dean turned his attention to Sam.

"I was just trying to be helpful. But you never let me help!" Sam could feel his lower lip protruding, and he did not care. Tears stung his eyes so he looked out the passenger window, determined Dean not see how mean that was.

"That's it. Next place I see, we stop." True to his word, the very next place with a pulsing, dancing, twirling neon sign proclaiming vacancy, he pulled in. "You. Stay. In. The. Car. Got it?"

Sam just nodded, not trusting his voice. Why was Dean being so mean? He wouldn't go melt the clown again, and let's face it, the clown deserved it for just being a clown, he wouldn't let Sam have laser eyes and then hit him in the face with that NO, so he wasn't allowed to drive either. Sam wrapped his arms over his chest, his lower lip still sticking out in the childish pout. Well, he did not care if he was being childish. So was Dean. When Dean started acting like a grownup, so would he!

Dean came back to the car. Sam looked away. Dean opened his door. Sam felt his brother trying to pull him out of the car. "Sammy, please?" The please caught his attention. Dean did not say please. Dean said NOW. Sam looked at his brother, but instead of green lasers he saw worry and concern. Now what?

"What?" Sam still felt surly, he did not like being treated like he was stupid. He was not stupid! He went to Stanford! Maybe Dean was just jealous.

"Please? Let's just go in the room and get some sleep. I'm sure everything will look better in the morning. Sammy?" Dean was tugging on him to get out of the car.

Sam sucked in his lip. Well, since his brother was being so nice… Wait! Dean wasn't nice! "Who died?" Sam gasped.

"What?" Dean's face was a mixture of worry, disbelief, and plaid.

"You're being nice. Somebody I know died. Was it one of my friends from school? Not that I hear from any of them anymore. Joshua? Ellen? Jo? Ash?" Sam grasped Dean's arm in his panic.

"No, Sammy. Nobody died. Come on, you need some sleep." Dean pulled both their duffels out of the back seat and slung the straps over his shoulder. His brother guided Sam to the room, constantly watching where he stepped and checking his face every few seconds. Dean was really looking worried. It wasn't like his brother to be like this.

"I can carry my own bag, you know." Sam stomped into the room.

"I know, Sam." Dean's voice was soft and patient. There must be something very, very wrong.


"Yeah, Sam." Dean dropped both their bags on the floor.

A sudden realization hit Sam, causing him to freeze in his tracks. "Am I dying?" It could not be Dean dying, he never died and he had plenty of opportunities. Dean's hawk cocked its head at him, as though it were deciding how many meals he would make. Probably quite a few.

"No, Sam. You're not dying. No one is dying. Now get ready for bed." Dean pointed to his duffel.

Sam scrunched up his face, something he had not done since he was a little kid. He wanted to wonder why, but the thought was a slippery one and kept sliding out his ear. He stuck a finger in that ear, trying to keep his thoughts in.

"Sam? What's wrong? Your ear bothering you?" Dean stepped closer to look at his ear.

"No. I'm trying to keep the thoughts in my head. They're slippery."

Dean's eyebrows went up and the hawk's neck arched, but neither said anything. His brother shed his jacket, somehow reminding Sam of the shapeshifter. Sam took a big step back.

"Now what?"

"Are you Dean or a shapeshifter?"

A long, drawn-out sigh escaped from Dean's mouth. Sam tensed. It was just like a shapeshifter to act exactly like Dean. He backed up until he hit the bed.

"Sam." Dean's hand rubbed his face, making it go all squishy like putty for a minute.

"Shapeshifter! Where's my brother?" Sam jumped onto the bed, looking around for a weapon. Wait, he needed silver! Did he have a silver knife? No, but Dean did. He eyed Dean's duffel, the knife was probably in there.

"Careful!" Shapeshifter Dean shouted at him, holding up both hands. "You might fall off!"

"So?" Sam demanded. What was this evil shapeshifter trying to pull here?

"You could hurt yourself in your current, ah, condition." Shapeshifter Dean did look worried. But that had to be an evil trick!

Sam shuffled backwards, angling for either Dean's duffel or the door. Shapeshifter Dean moved around slowly, blocking the door. "Now, Sammy, I'm not sure what you're thinking here, but I'm pretty sure that you're wrong. About whatever it is."

The duffel it was! Sam dove for Dean's duffel bag, slung it over his shoulder and raced back to his side of the room. Shapeshifter Dean did not even try to stop him, he was so fast! The thing that looked like his brother just stood there, watching him with eyes so big they could rival baseballs. And was it's head getting bigger? Oh, no! Maybe it was going to shed its skin again and become someone else!

"You just stay the way you are! That skin peeling thing is disgusting, I don't want to watch." Sam opened Dean's duffel, scattering the contents across the bed. Shapeshifter Dean had not moved from the door and was standing resolutely in front of it, staring down Sam.

Sam ignored the imitation of his brother. He had to get away from this shapeshifter and save Dean! Where was that silver knife, anyway? Another one of Dean's t-shirts, some underwear with – eww – holes? Dean's pants, jeans, toiletries, Sam threw them all out one by one in his quest for that knife. Nope, I don't need the hunting knife, Sam thought as he let it clatter to the floor. What else? He kept guns in here, too? Sheesh! How paranoid can you get? Sam tossed the guns onto the bed, knowing that without silver bullets they were worthless. Wait a minute…

Sam grabbed one of the guns and popped the clip. Bingo! Silver bullets! He grinned, aiming it at Shapeshifter Dean. "Where is my brother!"

Shapeshifter Dean looked pretty scared now. Not so cocky when there's a gun loaded with silver bullets, huh? "Sam. Would a shapeshifter have busted you out of a police station crawling with Feds? Brought you here to keep you safe?"

Okay, maybe it had a point there. Sam did not lower the gun, but he thought he might think about that one. So he stuck his finger back in his ear, to keep in those slippery thoughts.

"Sammy, you know I won't shoot you. Why would you want to shoot me?" It was holding out a hand that looked a lot like Dean's hand, right down to that silver ring Dean always wore. Hold on, did that shapeshifter take Dean's ring too, or was it just his necklace? No matter what Dean said to the contrary, that damn thing around his neck was too a necklace! "Give me the gun, Sam."

Sam's eyes narrowed as he trained the gun on the probably-evil-shapeshifter. It was getting harder and harder to think, even with his finger holding in his thoughts. Plus, the wallpaper was starting to move. There was something in the wallpaper, and it was going after Dean! Sam turned and tried to shoot the thing, but the gun wouldn't go off. Confused, he looked down the barrel to see if something was blocking the bullet.

"Damn it!" The gun was snatched out of his hand by a very angry Dean. "What the hell are you doing?"

"It wouldn't shoot. Is something jamming it?" Sam still wanted to see. It wasn't fair for Dean to keep all the cool stuff to himself.

"You left the safety on, Sam." Dean shoved him back so he could gather up his stuff, which by now covered half the room. Both guns went in Dean's waistband while he kept a wary eye on Sam.

"So you really are Dean? Not some shapeshifter?" Sam asked, still not sure if he believed it.

"I haven't tried to kill you, have I?" Dean asked.

Well, he did have a point there. "No."

"So what do you think?" Dean was cramming everything back in his bag. Sam watched as the contents of Dean's entire life fit inside a single duffel bag. It was so sad. Sam once had a life that filled a whole house. Okay, it was a rental, but still. And here was Dean, who really wanted a house – no, a home – packing his few worldly possessions into one bag.

"What the hell?" Dean was staring at him. Oh, God. It really was Dean! And he almost shot him. Again!

"Sam? You crying?" Was Dean mad or disappointed? Sam could probably handle it if Dean was mad, heck he spent half his life just trying to piss him off. But a disappointed Dean? No, no, no, no…

"Beddy-bye time." Dean took Sam by the shoulders and forced him into bed. Sam could feel the hot tears trickling down his cheeks. His brother took his shoes off, and when one of them winked at him Sam was glad it went under the bed, before covering him up.

"I don't have to brush teeth?" Sam asked, feeling like a little kid again.

"Plenty of time in the morning for that," Dean answered, and to prove it, he shucked his boots and climbed into the other bed. He was still wearing his regular clothes. "Think you can sleep?"

Sam shook his head, pointing at the freaky wallpaper. "That thing is going to get you when you go to sleep, Dean. It's scary."

"Tell you what," Dean stood and walked across the room. He grabbed a chair from the table, dragging it beside Sam's bed. "I'll sit here and watch to be sure the wallpaper behaves while you sleep. When you wake up, you can watch it while I sleep. Okay?"

Sam considered it. This thought was not as slippery as the others, so maybe it could be trusted more. Plus, he was suddenly very weary and tired. It had been a long, long day. Sam nodded, closing his eyes.


Sunlight warmed his face, waking him from a deep sleep. Sam stirred. His mouth felt like he'd been keeping cotton and mothballs in it for a week. His head was twice as heavy as usual and there was a drum quartet playing a concert to one of Dean's AC/DC tapes in his head. He heard a low groan, and it was a moment before he realized it came from him.

"Sammy?" The voice was rough, gruff and familiar. Sam cracked an eye to see a haggard Dean sitting in a chair next to his bed.

"What the hell are you doing?" Sam asked, sitting up. Oh, the drum quartet just expanded into a percussion orchestra. Shit. He cradled his head in his hands.

"You okay? What's wrong?" Firm hands grasped his shoulders.

"Headache," Sam mumbled.

"Okay. Hang on." He heard Dean hurry away, water running in the bathroom, then his brother's quick steps back to his bed. "Here, take these."

Without looking, Sam accepted and swallowed the pills. "What was that?" he asked, gratefully gulping the glass of water.

"Pain killers." Sam threw Dean a questioning look. Dean shrugged. "I called a drug hotline and asked if it would interact with whatever they doped you with. The dude on the phone said as long as you took them twelve to twenty-four hours after getting high, it should be fine."

"Excuse me?" Sam cocked an eyebrow at his big brother. "After getting high? Dean, I would never…"

"Never said you would, Sammy." Dean's voice was firm and it held that 'better shut up and listen for a change' tone. Sam did not feel like arguing for once, so he did. "You don't remember anything from last night?"

Sam shook his head.

Dean rubbed both hands over his face. "What's the last thing you remember?"

"Well," Sam frowned; his thoughts were a hazy blur. "I remember going out for coffee. Then something happened."

"Yeah. You got tagged by that crazy-ass Fed. By the time I busted you out of there, that dude had you so high," Dean stopped, chuckling.

"What? What did I do?" Despite the pounding in his head Sam sat up, alarmed.

Dean was grinning. "Dude, if I had a video camera, I'd have blackmail on you for life!" He shook his head. "But right now I'd settle for a couple of hours sleep. Now shut the hell up." Dean crawled into the other bed without bothering to change clothes. Within moments Sam heard his brother's soft snores.

Sam looked around the room. It looked like an average, ordinary motel room. How much trouble could he have gotten into here? Taking a cue from the percussion orchestra, Sam chose to lie back down in an attempt to drown out the dissonant symphony with sleep.