I respectfully decline the invitation to join your hallucination - Scott Adams

::::::::

Sam drives with white knuckles and a far away stare. He doesn't sleep, doesn't eat, doesn't ever stop unless she asks him to. His body sits rigid, two hands on the wheel and foot heavy on gas as if he has somewhere to be. There is no destination and they both know it. There is no reason left, motivation slid winding down the drain five states back, now it's just movement. Forward motion to keep it going, can't stop, won't stop Sam thinks he might die of he stops now 'cause there's an aching itch under his skin that won't go away no matter how hard he claws it.

I hate this car.

Sam's glad she's the one who said it so he didn't have do. He hates it too, hates everything about the gritty engine rumble and the screeching twinge of the doors. He thinks about selling it, weighs the thought of someone else driving it to the unnerving feeling of driving the fucker himself. No one else should be sitting behind the wheel - Lila suggests they burn it. Wants to buy a gallon of gasoline, drive out into the desert and watch her go up in flames. She begs him, cries wildly and makes a scene at the Amoco until he has to pick her and lock them both in the unisex bathroom. She just wants to get rid of it, she warms him she'll walk from here on out because there's too much of him wrapped up in the damn car.

He knows how she feels.

When he can't bring himself to do anything but throw her back in the car and keep driving she doesn't talk to him for a two days. Doesn't even sling a hostel glance in his direction, instead disregarding his presence.

::::::::

They sleep in the car. There's so little money and Sam can't think, can't bring himself to provide for the two of them like he should. Dean would never have let her sleep in a car and shower at a rest area, Dean made sure no matter how simple their life Lila always had enough to eat and a place to lay her head. Sam feels feeble and impotent because he can't get his act together. He thinks it'll get better with time, but days go by and there's still a searing pain that burns inside, makes his chest achy with mourning.

Sometimes at night she tugs at him from the backseat, pulls at the shoulder of his shirt until he crawls to her guilty and shamed. She curls into him like a sick kitten, mewing for his consolations and burrowing into him. She asks him to hold her and he does, even though it hurts to touch her, feels wrong when he wraps his arm around her. Has to tell himself that there's nothing wrong, he's not crossing any line, she needs to be consoled it's his job now. There's nothing wrong with just holding her.

In her sleep she calls him Dean, knots small fists in his chest and mumbles his brothers name - she starts talking to him in the middle of a haze, laughed light and frothy. Her mind cheery somewhere lost in a dream world, while her body was still there with him. He'd had to wake her up when he couldn't take it anymore, Lila gazed at him with sleep-drunk eyes and smiled, still wandering on the edge of her sleep-induced fantasy, patting the side of his face and slipping back into her place between his body and the vinyl seatback.

::::::::

It's hot in Louisiana, too fucking hot when Lila finds a fifth of Jack Daniels hidden in the trunk makes it through half the bottle before Sam confiscates it, takes a swig himself and locks it up again. Lila's already done her damage, under the influence and feeling better - feeling cured if for only a moment. She sits spread wide over the front seat, arms opened broad, sweating, with her head tipped back, rocking side to side. She slants her head, Sam watches as her eyes water, red and irritated by the pollen of recent spring days. Her nose is red-raw and makes her look semi-ridiculous in the daylight, but now combined with her chapped, swollen lips and disheveled hair she looks like she'd been fucked hard and thrown to the side.

She drops a heavy arm between her obscenely spread thighs, summer dress hiked up and rubbing a hand lewdly over her sweating skin, oblivious. Sam swallows hard and does his best not to look at her. Nothing about the way she's falling apart should be any kind of temptation - it's all enough to make him wonder what kind of sick he really is.

"Ohh Sammy" She's slurs wiggling her nose while pursing those lips. "What's the story about the celery stalk?"

Sam just looks at her, not entirely sure she's talking about.

"You know" she nods her head adamantly sitting up a little, sounding a bit irritated. "The celery that goes all the way up to the clouds"

"Lila, I don't know what you're talking about." Trying to pull her hand away from his, but instead she grabs a hold of his index and middle fingers, holding him like an infant would in her fist.

"Yes you do"

"Not celery" Sam smiles to himself when it dawns on him what she getting at. "It's a beanstalk, Jack and the Beanstalk."

"Yes, Jack….oh Jack and his stalk and his clouds…all the way to heaven…" Lila exhales noisily and sit ups, scooting closer to him, still gripping his fingers. "Can I tell you a secret?"

He looks in her watering eyes, glossy pools over her dark pupils. The smell of liquor is pungent, wafting off her tongue and to his nose. He nods yes.

"When I realized he was going to go…I mean when I knew it was a for sure thing and that we couldn't save him…I thought I was going to die from it, I was sure my heart was gonna stop beating and break in two." She pauses while Sam watches as her eyes tremor side to side, never leaving his stare.

She backs away from him, running a hand over her face, sweat, liquor and tears mixing together.

"I stopped taking my pill the last month, threw out the whole pack. I thought…I don't know what I thought" She opens her mouth wide, like her jaw is stuck and twists her face, "Don't worry, didn't work" She pats her flat stomach and stares hard at the silent radio.

Sam doesn't know what to say to that, he can't imagine anything making the situation worse than her being pregnant through all of this.

"I wanted a son" she states matter-of-factly, "A son who would have loved Jack and the Beanstalk."

"You can still have a son.." Sam offers worriedly noncommittal, he doesn't believe in happy endings anymore.

Lila just cocks her neck and eyeballs him as if he's biggest numskull she's never seen. Shakes her head slowly, drunkenly, trying to identify with such unfathomable logic. "No," raises a finger to accentuate her point "Not a son like that, he would have been a fine, great-hearted son." Her voice cracks toward the end.

"You would have been a great mother Lila" Sam means for it to comfort, but the past tense of it coming from his mouth stings sharp in her chest.

Sam lives in a nightmare for the next week, she's weepy, hysterical, picking fights with him wherever she can. She hisses cruel accusations until she breaks down, evacuates to whatever solitary place she can find. Later she crawls back later, whispers regret in his ear.

::::::::

Sam ends up medicating her, doesn't make it a choice on her part, writes up a faux prescription and shoves her to pharmacy counter to have it filled. The white-coated pharmacist gifts her orange-brown bottle labeled Kate Sullivan and she peals at the white label for hours with Sam coercing her, via strong eyes, into taking the first pill.

Lorazepam. It's unheard-of and wondrous. After the first week Lila counts the hours to next dose, rolling the little white, five sided pills between the pads of her fingers. 2mg dose – God bless Sam. At first it's too strong a dosage, the initial hits makes her sleepy and lethargic, then there's a glorious dull feeling, numb static droning in her head that comes over her in waves and shuts out everything else. She doesn't mind riding for silent hours, occupies herself by clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth, picking at the panging soreness of the muscle underneath; like she's had her temperature taken again and again, until that one spot aches, strange to movement.

It becomes an incredibly, sticky, pharmaceutically-induced fog. Sam watches her heavy-lidded, wonders selfishly why he hasn't taken them away yet. Already knows. When she's doped up she needs to satisfy her physical itch, sits next to him in the booth while they eat and leans into his side, thigh against thigh, her shoulder crowding to his, making it hard to use both hands.

She holds his hand when they walk through the grocery store, soft fingers pushing between his own rough knuckles, cups his palm like it's nothing to her. She cranes her neck, looking at the wall of hair care products as if it might swallow her whole. He buys twenty dollars worth of Shampoo, overpriced soap and whitening, fluoride toothpaste . It's well worth the cost when Lila smells like sweet fruits and peppermint, delicate feminine aromas that make his stomach knot.

Lila curls herself up and drops her head in his lap when they drive. Lays her cheek, tender on his leg and drifts in and out of whatever factitious world she retreats to. Sam indulges, swings an arm over her, hand hovering on her hip; it's feels adulterous, covetous to touch her, bringing to the surface sentiments of affection and jealous appetite that simmered in him long before his brother withered away.

At one time he was able to admire her from afar, admire what was her and Dean together. It was the idea of the two of them, gave him hope to happily appreciate – happiness was admiring without desire. All before the house fell in on itself.

She babbles every now and again, chats at him like she's feverish, delusional.

"I can't see him like I used to, the picture isn't clear anymore, too much static in the way"

"I try to figure it out Sam, almost got inside my own brain, I got lost in the hallway, it was so dark and locked myself out again."

"I cut up the thing that's alive and beautiful to find out how it's alive and why it's beautiful, and before I knew it, it was neither of those things, and I'm standing here with blood on my face and tears in my sight and only the terrible ache of guilt to show for it."

He takes the pills away from her, finds out she's taking more than a laughably healthy amount, which he always knew, and throws the bottle out the window while she's sleeping. He's sure she'll have a fit, hard withdraw from numbness, cold and painful. She's sick for two days, head runs hot and makes her just as senseless as before, but she comes out of it without complaining or asking for explanations. Instead she takes up smoking, Lucky Strikes, a pack a day from the get go, puffing heavy and watching the smoke as she exhales.

But she still sits too close, wraps a thin arm around his waist when they walk – catches him staring a little too long but doesn't call him out.

Everything is different.

Emotional occasions, especially these, violent ones, are extremely potent in precipitating mental-emotional rearrangements. The sudden and explosive ways in which love, jealousy, guilt, fear, remorse, or anger can seize upon one are known to everybody. . . . And emotions that come in this explosive way seldom leave things as they found them.