Very short one-shot. Slightly different end to AYTGIMDW. Picks up when Sam's upstairs, and Dean's in the kitchen. I'm determined to add a bit of limp Sam to each episode if we don't get it :p

Spoilers for 4x02

I don't own anything.


Sam's breath froze against his top lip. His fingers tightened around the grip of his shotgun. A sound behind him had him spinning around, dizzy but managing to stay upright. His injured forehead stung.

Meg stood before him; her hair longer than he remembered, her face ashen. Her eyes held no light.

Sam swallowed a mouthful of thin air and levelled his shotgun at her chest.

"Now, now," she chided. "Is that any way to greet an old friend?"

Sam's vision unfocused for a second. They were never friends. His finger twitched upon the trigger, but he didn't squeeze it.

Her clothes were plain. She wore no make-up. "This is how I was, Sam, before you killed me." Her head tilted to the side. "Just an average girl."

Sam's throat worked, but he didn't reply. Her words stung with truth. This was one of the many people he'd failed in his life; one of the many he'd been unable to save.

"You had a taste of what it was like," she continued.

Sam backed up. His legs trembled.

"You were possessed for, what was it? A week?" She laughed bitterly and stepped closer. "Imagine how I felt, being a prisoner in my own head for months."

Sam's back pressed against a wall. He steeled his shoulders and again adjusted his grip upon the shotgun. He wasn't sure why he was hesitating when he should just shoot her.

Shots echoed from downstairs.

Suddenly Meg was in his face.

"You killed me, Sam."

Her breath should have touched his cheek, but where there should have been breath, Sam felt none.

"You should have saved me."

Sam's skin prickled with cold. The moisture in his eyes began to freeze. The shotgun was torn from his grip. He knew he'd killed her. She was right, and he was sorry. Henriksen was right, and Sam was sorry. He was sorry for a lot of things.

"What you're doing with Ruby-" Meg's eyes narrowed. "-is no different."

Sam couldn't think properly. His head hurt. The ground was shifting. His muscles refused to work properly.

"You kill demons." She gripped him by the shoulders and flung him to the ground.

Sam's teeth rattled. He tried to roll but was kicked in the side and thrown upon his back. He was growing tired of these spirits. He couldn't even remember what he'd come upstairs for. Bobby had asked him to get something, but he couldn't remember what it was. His mind had been a mess since Henriksen's spirit had smashed his head against a basin earlier in the day.

Bobby was relying on him.

The realization sank its teeth into Sam.

He tried to move, but was pressed harder into the floor.

"You think you're such a hero." Meg's knuckles cracked across his forehead.

Sam felt blood burn through the wound that was already there.

"But you're a monster." She hit him again. "You're killing innocent people, just like you killed me."

Sam's chest constricted with the accusation. He wanted to deny it, but couldn't. He still hadn't worked out a way of using his powers to kill demons without killing their human hosts. But he was trying.

Pain lanced through his chest.

It took him a moment to realize that Meg's spirit had plunged her hand inside him and was gripping his heart.

He couldn't breathe. The muscles around his neck tightened as he battled to sit up and push her off.

"For all the lives you've taken," she hissed in his ear, "and for ignoring me when I needed your help." She squeezed tighter.

Sam's back arched. Spots broke across his vision and the skin across his chest threatened to split.

Her hair brushed against his cheek as she leaned over him. "Monster," she repeated, spitting the word into his ear like a dagger.

Sam's whole body felt like it was on fire.

Suddenly, a gunshot rang out, closer this time, and abruptly Meg dissolved.

Sam fell back against the floor.

Air rushed into his crying lungs, and a strangled sound burst from his throat. His eyes watered. His heart thundered in his ears as it stuttered and then resumed an unsteady rhythm against his ribs.

Someone grabbed his shirt and hauled him upright.

Sam opened his eyes and caught sight of Dean's flushed face.

"Come on," the older brother ordered.

Sam was pulled to his feet. His legs sagged, but he grabbed at a wall and managed to remain standing.

Dean bent down and swiped Sam's shotgun from where it lay. He threw it.

Monster...

Sam caught the weapon, but couldn't quite catch his breath. Meg was right; he had killed more people that he'd saved.

Dean grabbed his sleeve, tugging him forward. "Come on."

Sam stumbled ungracefully. He knew he was a monster. He'd been responsible for the deaths of his mother, his girlfriend, his father, and most recently, his brother.

That made him less than human.

That ripped him to shreds.


Downstairs, Bobby was chanting.

Sam reached the staircase and all but tripped over his own boots as he stumbled towards the ground floor.

Dean had dashed to retrieve the item Sam had originally been instructed to get, and now he barrelled down the stairs, slipping past Sam and hurrying towards Bobby.

Sam felt like a bystander. His thoughts refused to come unstuck from Meg's words. He could still feel her icy grip around his heart.

"Sam!" Dean's tone was short, sharp.

Sam willed his body down the remaining stairs. His knees threatened to buckle. Dean had saved him from Meg, but Dean had been absent for so long and Sam had nearly forgotten what it was like to rely upon his brother. He wasn't used to working in a team anymore. He was used to working alone.

He wondered whether that made him selfish.

The sight of Henriksen's spirit appearing behind Bobby shook him to his senses.

Henriksen's fist shot through Bobby's back, but didn't come out the other side. Bobby dropped the bowl he'd been holding, and Dean, who was standing close by, dove to catch it.

Sam jerked his shotgun, aimed and fired.

The ground disappeared beneath him. His shot missed, and he was thrown against a bookcase. The gun fell from his grip.

Bobby's knees buckled and he hit the floor with Henriksen's fist still in his chest, squeezing his heart.

Sam forgot which way was up. He tried to stand up, but two girls appeared and slid a table towards him at impossible speed. His back cracked as he was sandwiched against the bookcase, unable to move, or breathe.

Bobby cried out.

Dean scrambled across the floor towards the hearth.

Sam watched his brother through half-closed eyes as Dean hurled the contents of the bowl into the fire.

There was an explosion of light, and a rush of icy air. Sam turned his face away as dust whipped off the floor and caught in his lashes.

Then all went still.

Sam's ears were ringing, and he blinked rapidly, trying to clear his vision.

Dean scrambled from the hearth to Bobby, and bent over the older man.

Bobby waved him off, and pushed up from the floor with a groan.

Dean's eyes snapped to lock with Sam's. "Sammy?"

Sam sucked in a painful breath. He pushed the heavy table off his body. Its legs burped across the floor. He felt bruised, and broken, and he slumped forward against the tabletop.

The spirits were gone.

The house was silent, but there were sirens in his head. Blood trickled down the side of his face and snaked down his neck. He hadn't been much help today.

He was never much help.

"Sam?" Dean's eyes were concerned.

Sam's shoulders trembled.

You think you're such a hero… But you're a monster...

Bobby wobbled to his feet and scrubbed a hand over his face. He regarded the upturned furniture and broken glass about the room.

Sam couldn't straighten his back. The surrounding air was warmer, but he was still frozen inside.

Bobby's eyes rested upon him. "You okay?"

Sam swallowed jaggedly. He forced a nod.

…killing innocent people…

"I'm fine."


Dean couldn't sleep. He lay on a mattress on the floor, a few feet from the couch where Sam slept.

The house slept around him. He remembered coming here when he was a kid. He rolled over and looked at Sam.

Sam's face was peaceful.

Dean watched his brother a moment. Then he tore his gaze away.

There'd been no need for scissors, paper, rock this time. Not with Sam banged up the way he was. Dean was happy to take the mattress.

He flipped onto his back and stared at the ceiling. The darkness was thick, but not so thick that he couldn't make out objects around the room. His thoughts spun a web through his mind. They tangled, released, and tangled again.

Meg had said something to Sam. Dean could tell. He could tell, because she'd said something to him as well. And she'd had a way with words. She'd told him about her little sister, who'd gone off the rails in her absence.

She worshipped me… You know how little siblings are

Her little sister had committed suicide.

Dean's eyes wandered back to his sleeping brother.

Thank God Sam hadn't done anything that drastic. Dean felt his chest constrict. He thought about the months he'd been absent, and just where his brother had gone, and what it must have been like.

They hadn't talked about it.

Dean wanted so desperately to broach the subject with his brother, but just didn't know how.

He felt guilty for that. He felt guilty for the space that had opened up between them, and frustrated that he had no idea how to close it.

He closed his eyes.

His thoughts continued to wind around themselves, winding in, winding out; spinning.

There was a breath against his cheek, and his eyes snapped open. Alert and senses tingling, he sat up and scanned the room.

A man stood in the kitchen. He was a silhouette.

Dean knew who he was, even without seeing his face.

Castiel.

This was the man who claimed to be an angel. He'd paid Dean a visit before. He'd apparently dragged Dean out of Hell.

Dean stood slowly, and cast a look towards his sleeping brother.

Sam didn't wake, and his breaths remained even.

Castiel's eyes locked with Dean's as the older hunter approached the kitchen.

Dean narrowed his eyes. He followed Castiel's gaze as it wandered pointedly to Sam, settled, and then wandered back again.

Dean stood between his brother and the angel.

"We need to talk," Castiel said calmly.

Dean didn't want to talk, but he was beginning to feel like he had less and less control over his life.

"You can talk," he replied stubbornly. "But whether I listen?" He regarded the angel levelly.

"We'll see."


Sam dreamed.

He dreamed that an angel was watching him.

Its eyes were brighter than the sun, and it looked straight through him, straight through his body and into the depths of his heart.

It didn't speak.

It just watched him.

And Sam wondered, almost fearfully, what it saw there.