Oooh, I can't wait for Season 5!


Sam stood in the cold bathroom of the motel room, trying not to gag as he peeled the sticky, blood-soaked clothes off his back. He'd already scrubbed Dean's blood off his hands in the sink of the hospital bathroom as best he could while he waited for news of his brother's condition, but he was covered pretty much from head to foot still, and toeing off his shoes, he kicked his jeans and shirts into the corner of the room where he couldn't see them and turned on the hot tap of the shower.

The water that gushed out of the shower head was about five degrees too hot for comfort, but Sam climbed in anyway, the steam quickly filling the tiled room - obliterating everything - and he let the stinging jet of water hit his face, washing the blood away along with the tears that leaked barely noticed from the corners of his eyes.

Eight months, eight months, eight months...

He'd promised Dean that he would get him out of the deal. He'd sworn that he would, but try as he might, he'd found nothing. He and Bobby had been searching non-stop for the past four months, searching every source they could think of, every ancient text, spell or grimoire Bobby had ever heard of and had come up with precisely nada. He'd had a brief glimmer of hope after calling up the crossroads Demon, much to Dean's annoyance, but the bitch had had been a dead end and shooting her between the eyes hadn't made him feel any better – just more desperate.

"I'm not gonna let you go, Dean. Even if you want me to." He murmured under the water, resting his forehead against the grimy tiles of the shower. "You're not going to hell because of me."

-o-

"I don't know what to do, Bobby." Sam said quietly down the phone as he sat on the edge of his still made bed. It was now seven thirty am and Sam had given up trying to sleep two hours ago. "I didn't mean for this to happen."

"Of course you didn't, Sam. Dean knows that. He's just pissed and hurting. You know how he gets when he's sick or hurt or hell, even when he's overtired." Bobby's voice told him, small and tinny down the end of the phone line.

"I don't know. You didn't see how he looked at me. He looked like he hated me."

A laugh came down out of the handset. "Kid, Dean could never hate you. You know that."

"But I let him down, Bobby. I really let him down. He could be dead now... There was so much blood."

Bobby was silent for a moment and Sam scrubbed at his face with his hand, trying to stifle a yawn. He was exhausted but too freaked out and worried to sleep. It had been a long long night.

"Look Sam. Just give him time – he'll cool off. And if he doesn't, I'll come down there and kick his ass myself."

Sam smiled despite himself. "Thanks Bobby. I'll call you later and let you know how he's doing."

"You do that Sam. Give him my best, okay."

"K' Bobby. Bye." Sam replied and hung up his cell phone, throwing it on the bed behind him. Visiting hours began at 11 am and he knew he wasn't going to get any sleep in between now and then, so Sam decided that breakfast would at least kill some time and he threw on his jacket, picked up the Impala's keys from the bureau and headed out in search of pancakes.

-o-

"You know that Heart Disease is America's number one killer. Much more dangerous than things that go bump in the night." A voice said from over his shoulder, snapping Sam out of his thoughts and he jerked round to see the blonde haired Demon leaning over the seat beside him, gesturing the leftover pancakes and bacon on his plate.

"Ruby." He gasped, heart pounding from the start she'd just given him. "What do you want?"

The Demon grinned sweetly and slid into the seat opposite him. "Oh, I want what every girl wants – a nice car, a hot boyfriend, world peace... And how about some French fries?"

Sam frowned. Ordinarily he didn't have a problem with the demon hanging around – after all, she had saved their asses many time and helped Bobby fix the Colt. But he wasn't in the mood for any of her games right now and knowing she was back on the scene would only piss Dean off even more – if that were at all possible.

The waitress came over and Ruby opened the menu to order, but Sam quickly waved her away, leaving the Demon pouting.

"I don't think you came here to have breakfast with me." He snapped at her.

"Man, did you get out of the wrong side of bed or what today, Sam?" She growled back, picking up his glass of orange juice and taking a sip through the discarded straw from the table. "I was only going to order a drink. All this research on how to save your brother is thirsty work, you know..."

Putting the cup down, she looked around the diner, frowning. "And talking of Dean, where is my number one fan?"

Sam swallowed dryly. "Don't pretend you don't know, Ruby."

The Demon narrowed her eyes to match Sam's scowl. "Don't know what, Sam? Let me guess – he won the lottery and is sunning himself in Acapulco with that truck stop waitress he banged last week? Always wondered if his luck ever changed whether he'd ditch you like you ditched him all those years ago."

Sam sat back and eyed the Demon suspiciously. Her innocent act didn't seem to be an act for once and Sam sighed, slumping down in the chair. "He's in the hospital, Ruby. He got hurt... I let him get hurt."

"Did Short Bus stick his fingers in the plug socket again? You really should get some of those child cover thingies."

"Funny." Sam replied. "But I'm not in the mood. Why are you here?"

The Demon smiled sweetly and fluttered her eyelashes. "Maybe I just missed you, Sam."

"Yeah, right." Sam replied, downing the last of his coffee. He wanted to get out of this place, get away from her. He wanted to get back to Dean, whether his brother wanted him there or not. And getting to his feet, he dropped a couple of bills on the table and headed towards the door, trying to ignore the Demon as she yelled his name.

He knew Dean didn't trust her - Dean would – could - never trust anything that wasn't 100 percent human. But desperate times called for desperate measures and she had told him many times that she could help him save Dean, she had practically promised – and although the promises of a Demon didn't really mean much, somehow he knew she was telling the truth. He could just feel it in some dark, primordial part of himself.

If only he could get his brother to believe in her too.

Striding out into the parking lot, Sam headed towards the car only to see the Demon leaning against the passenger seat.

"What are you doing, Ruby?" He sighed.

The Demon smiled smugly. "How about a road trip?"

"Get off the car. I don't have time for any of your stupid games. I gotta go see my brother."

Ruby grabbed his arm as he tried to walk past her. "This isn't a game, Sam. You don't have much time to save him, you know.

"Yeah I know!" He snapped in reply – her words sliding into his heart like an icicle. "I know."

"So what are you gonna do about it? Are you just going to let him go? Are you going to let Lillith take him?"

Sam swallowed dryly.

"You've seen people taken by hounds, Sam." She carried on. "You've seen what happened when their deal comes due. They get torn to shreds. You want that to happen to Dean?"

"Of course I don't" Sam yelled, grabbing her arm and shoving her away, hard. Then he sagged against the car, head bowed as tears welled up in his eyes. "You gotta help me save him, Ruby. Please... "

The demon edged cautiously up towards him until they were both leaning against the car.

"That's what I came here for." She whispered, slipping her arm around Sam's. "I'll help you, but you have to trust me, okay."

"Okay." Sam replied. He knew this might be the biggest mistake he had ever made, but it didn't matter. Dean was what mattered, and he was going do whatever it took to save him.