I don't own Supernatural or anything that has to deal with it. So please don't sue me because I'm a poor college kid with loans up to my ears.
Sam paused at the top of the basement stairs. The darkness looked back at him, empty and silent. The old farmhouse creaked around him and he tensed. He flipped open his phone and called Dean. No answer. The theory of 'no news is good news' never applied in Sam or Dean's lives.
He was positive that Dean had gone down there and if any knowledge could be gained from the silence in the rest of the house, he was positive that the supernatural disturbance was also in the basement.
He pulled the pistol from the back of his jeans, checked that it was filled with rock salt, and stepped into the darkness. Cobwebs brushed across his face like a ghostly touch. He took slow, even breaths to make sure that his own breathing didn't cover any important sounds. He wanted to call out to Dean again, but his intuition told him not to.
At the bottom of the stairs, Sam saw a faint light from under a door. He paused with his hand on the knob. His breath was held in his lungs as he listened. He thought he heard a dull thump, maybe a gasp. Maybe it was all in his head, his nerves getting the best of him. Sam pushed open the door.
The creature had Dean against the limestone wall by his throat. Sam couldn't figure out what exactly it was. Some sort of Wolman meets demon meets nuclear radiation, as far as he could tell. Whatever it was, it noticed Sam as he came into the room.
Without hesitation Sam shot the thing. It fell back against the wall, Dean slumped to the floor and Sam flipped open the book. He read the standard banishing command and watched the thing smoke and fade. After the last word echoed in the silent room, Sam rushed to Dean's side. He felt for a pulse and breath, Dean had both, though weakly.
Sam touched Dean's shoulder. "Dean?"
Dean's eyes opened. They were the black of the demon possessed. Sam's mouth went dry and he froze.
Dean smiled like he knew something that Sam never would. "So glad you found me." He said in a voice that was both Dean's and not Dean's.
"Let him go." Sam's eyes hardened.
"I don't think so." Dean stood and paced around the room.
Sam stood out of defense. He kept his eyes on Dean and his finger on the trigger of the gun.
"Are you going to shoot me?" Dean smiled broader. "Sammy?"
It was that one word that made Sam's blood run cold. Dean called Sam 'Sammy' more often than Sam would like, but it had always been said out of concern, out of the thing that the Winchesters never spoke of, out of love. When demon Dean said it, the name meant nothing. It was taunting, hard and used to hit Sam where he was most vulnerable.
Sam's brain ran through every case where they sent a demon back, every time where the poor soul who had become taken had been lost in the exorcism. The statistics of saving Dean from the demon's grasp were small. The fact that the demon seemed to know that made the numbers even smaller.
Sam took a slow breath and started reciting the words. He hoped against the odds that it would work, he prayed to a God that he wasn't sure was there as he spoke. The smile fell from Dean's face and his eyes lost the amused glow from a second ago.
"Send me away, and I'll take him."
The words caught in Sam's throat.
Demons lie, Sammy. Those were the only words that Sam could remember Dean saying. Sam took another breath and continued. He found that if he looked at Dean's shoulder, then he didn't have to burn the image of those demon possessed eyes into his brain.
Suddenly there was a hand at Sam's throat and his head struck the limestone wall. Black spots danced in front of his eyes for a few seconds before he realized he couldn't get a breath. He grabbed Dean's wrist and tried to pry his brother from his throat.
"Oh, Sammy. Never did get it, did you? Never were quick enough, smart enough, brave enough."
Sam tried not to listen, not to believe, but he couldn't help it. His eyes went to Dean's and he got lost.
"Couldn't save your mom, your dad, Jess. Couldn't even save me, and after all the times I've saved you."
"You never saved me." Sam gasped. "Dean did, and you're not him."
He didn't know where he was aiming, he just knew that if there was any chance to save Dean, he had to do it. Sam raised the gun in his right hand and shot. He dropped to the cold, cement floor and took long breaths of cool air.
Dean staggered back, red blooming on his shirtfront. His face was blank with surprise. Sam looked up at his brother. Sam finished the banishing, he forced himself to ignore the blood that ran from his brother.
The demon flew from Dean and he crumpled to the floor. Sam was at his side in a second.
"Dean?" His throat constricted in fear. "I'm sorry, Dean."
His eyes opened and he looked up at Sam. "Sorry." His eyes closed again.
"For what?" Sam touched Dean's shoulder. "Dean?"
With shaking hands, Sam felt for a pulse. Everything was still under Sam's fingers. Out of desperation, Sam started chest compressions even though he knew it was pointless. Minutes passed and Sam still tried.
Dean's skin was cold under Sam's fingers as he felt for a pulse again. Sam yelled out of self-hatred, despair, shame. Something cold and heavy settled in his chest as he looked at Dean's lifeless form on the floor. The blood was on Sam's hands, his jeans, the floor. It was everywhere.
"There shouldn't have been a bullet." Sam whispered.
He pulled the chamber of the gun open and saw three empty chambers. The remaining two held rock salt and then as if to mock him, the third, the one next to be shot contained a bullet. The gun fell from his shaking hands and he closed his eyes as though to block out the horrible image.
Sam was slumped in a corner of the basement. His eyes were vacant and wide with terror. Dean burst into the room, guns drawn and determination etched into the hard lines of his face.
The demon had Sam at her will and he was almost gone.
"Not this time, Bitch." Dean spat.
Dean recited the words with hatred and force. The smile on the demon's face fell as she realized what he was doing.
She looked back at Sam, he paled further and his shaking was more obvious. Suddenly she crumpled and was banished. Sam shuddered, his eyes closed and he slumped further down the wall.
Dean flew to Sam's side. "Sammy? Sam, you gotta wake up."
Sam's eyes opened slowly. He looked at Dean, the confusion in his eyes mingling with the fear. He shrank back from Dean slightly.
Dean gripped his arm. "Hey, Sammy. You're all right."
Sam blinked and the fear was gone. "Dean?"
"Yeah. Let's get out of this shit hole." Dean pulled Sam to his feet. "You all right?"
Sam ran his hand through his hair and nodded. He kept glancing over at Dean, making sure it was really him.
The ride back to the motel was silent. Sam stared out the window with his eyes glazed.
Dean glanced over at him. "You okay?"
Sam didn't answer. His mind was replaying the things the demon forced him to see. He could still feel the kickback of the gun in the tension of his shoulder, the drying blood on his hands.
Sam turned away from the oncoming night. "What?"
"Just makin sure you were still with me."
Sam's jaw clenched as Dean said that. Dean had an idea that the demon messed with his brother, he just didn't know how much and knew that Sam wouldn't venture the information easily.
They pulled up in front of their door and got out of the car. Sam unlocked the door and walked over to his bed. He sat down on the edge and braced his elbows on his knees. Dean dropped his jacket on the floor and flopped down on his own bed. He grabbed the remote off the floor and turned on the television. He looked over at Sam and wished that just once, he could fix all that went on in his head.