BUZZING NEON

By: Karen B.

Summary: Season 4. Set after the tag of Metamorphosis. A drunk, confused, and emotionally hurting Sam.

Author's note: The muse can be a free flying thing, a hairy tarantula hidden in a crate of bananas, or a spooky, prune skinned, bent over, seaweed for hair, old bag.

-- Either way…I'm at her/his/its mercy, and I thank you most truly…for your time and care in reading.

Sunshine, even in the rain,

Karen

Disclaimer: Non - profit dreaming. Written for fun/expression/hobby only. Don't own anything other than that.

********************************************************************

The moon rode high in the sky, and the wind played with his hair, an unruly mess falling into his eyes. Sam didn't know why he'd picked this spot -- seemed like a good place for a guy like him. He leaned against the maggot infested dumpster, long legs sprawled out in front of him. Sam slugged down another mouthful of Tequila wondering what would happen when he finally got to the worm floating near the bottom. He glared up at the buzzing neon sign at the end of the alley. The annoying sound, and pink blush of the blinking Flamingo made him feel sick and dizzy.

He wanted to take back what was stolen from him. His innocence, his life, his power to create his own destiny.

"You don't need me. You and Ruby go hunt demons," Sam said Dean's words like he was reading them off a script.

Sam swallowed down hard on the Tequila that wanted to be unleashed and rush back out his mouth. He wasn't even half-way through the bottle, he needed to hold his liquor. If he couldn't scrub himself clean or rip the dirt from inside him; maybe he could drink away the disease winding its way through his soul, through his blood, driving his brother slowly away.

Could he blame Dean?

His life was tarnished.

He was a new level of freak.

Half human.

Half-demon.

As a human, he could handle himself on a hunt. Through the mud, the blood, and the fear. As a demon, he could handle his powers that seemed to just get stronger everyday. What he couldn't handle was the way Dean looked at him -- the way he'd talked to him. Cold and rational.

"It's already gone too far," Sam uttered.

There was no cure for what Sam had. The disease burned into his blood. Sam took a long drink, hissing as the liquid blazed down his throat while his emotions and thoughts scorched through his mind. So…which was he? Was he a man? A hunter? Wanting to save the earth and the people living upon it. Or was he a beast? A monster? Tracking and killing only for the sport of it. Or worse -- was he both. A double agent. Jumping the fence as the need arose Either way, there were some things in this world that couldn't be labeled. Sam was one of those things.

He felt like he was hanging on the edge of a cliff. Waiting for someone to pull him up to safety, or for his strength to fail and he would fall. Sam prayed for the fall. More so, he prayed, that if and when he fell he wouldn't take the one person he loved most with him.

Sam rubbed at his jaw where Dean had decked him -- twice. Even now having drank half a bottle he could still feel the sting of Dean's knuckles. Dean's punches had always hurt but usually he held back. This punch was different. Dean didn't hold back one ounce. This punch was stripped down bare. A ninety mile an hour fast ball slamming into Sam's jaw. Part of Sam didn't want Dean to stop punching. He figured after the fourth, fifth, and sixth punch he might not even feel the pain anymore. Besides, if Dean kept hitting him, maybe Sam's head would break open like a piñata and the demon blood dwelling inside of him would fall like candy -- harmless to the floor.

"God doesn't want you doing this," Sam mumbled, closing his eyes and shivering hard.

The words were worse than any punch Dean could have delved out, leaving Sam in a pile of ruin.

God didn't want him using his powers. Angels were prepared to stop him. Demons both revered and hated him. And Dean thought him a freakish idiot.

"You're my favorite, Sammy." Sam repeated Yellow Eye's words, shifting, his long legs stretched out awkwardly.

"You've always been a freak." Sam choked down another mouthful of fiery liquor.

Dean had meant the words to be gentle and joking, but no words said were truer -- not since Sam's six month birthday anyway.

All he wanted to do was sit on the cold pavement, his back against the dumpster and drink. Drink until he forgot who or what he was. What he did and how he did it. Tonight, he'd burned a man alive. Watched as Jack screamed in pain and horror. A man Sam so desperately wanted to prove could be saved, could overcome his curse and fight off the monster within.

But most of all Sam wanted to forget the look on Dean's face and the words ringing in his ears. Words that were coated with equal parts of disgust and fear.

"If I didn't know you. I'd want to Hunt you," Sam groaned.

Those words had chopped Sam up as though he'd been fed through a wood chipper. Sam understood Dean was scared of his powers.

"I'm scared too, D-Dean," Sam slurred.

"You're not alone," Sam whispered his brother's words.

But alone was all Sam felt. How could he be anything else? There was no one in this world or any other who could understand the disease creeping through his blood. Half- human. Half-Demon. What did that mean? Where was this going? And who would he hurt along the way getting there? He'd already hurt Dean a hundred different ways, and had let him down a thousand more. He'd put his brother through hell -- literally. Now they were like strangers, all because of a few lousy drops of demon blood bled into his mouth when he wasn't even old enough to talk. He couldn't stop it then, but Sam was determine to stop it now. He'd stop using his powers. For himself. Alone….he was so damn alone.

Sam's heart thudded in his chest, the aching need almost too much to bear -- suffocating him.

He wished he could fly -- but he was a bird without wings. He wished he could scrub away the demon blood -- but his hands faded into mist. He wished he knew where this road his feet had unwillingly been set upon ended. But the roads to heaven and hell were paved with unseen colors.

The boy nobody wanted.

That's who he was now.

At odds with heaven and hell, and now the person he loved most. Dean. He wanted to talk to Dean. Tell him all he was feeling inside, but Dean could never understand -- as much as Sam knew his big brother wanted to. How could Dean? When Sam couldn't understand things himself.

How many people stayed awake at night wondering where their spirit would go when they died?

Most people hoped for heaven.

Some knew they'd go to hell.

But Sam…who would take Sam's soul? He was a half-breed and as far as he knew there was no shades of gray. Things were yes or no. Black or white. Do or die. Heaven or hell. Where did that leave him?

He just wanted answers. Good or bad -- it didn't matter, but answers just the same. Yes, Sam was done with everything. He wanted to get in the Impala, gun the engine, and drive. Drive far and fast. Drive until he and the car fell off the earth. Too bad that plan would never work. Thanks to early explorers, everyone knew the earth was round and he'd just keep going round and round in circles. Like he had been all this time. He could always fly to Pluto or Jupiter if he could figure out how to sup up the Impala with rocket fuel.

Sam slogged down another round, holding tight to the bottle and careful to swallow every drop.

There was no place to hide. Nowhere to go -- except the bottom of a bottle. Getting plastered and drinking himself into another time, another place.

Lengthening shadows spurred by the full moon sprung between the two barren walls of the alley. If Sam didn't know any better he'd think a shadow demon was practicing ballet.

The alley reminded him of a dream he often had. Of being alone and lost in a long empty stretch of hallway. A hallway that Sam was trapped in. Running and running. Trying to open locked doors, but none would open. He'd turn tail and run in the opposite direction doing the same, but he had no key. He'd knock and pound but no one would answer. He'd run some more screaming Dean's name, knowing he was in hell and couldn't be bothered. Eventually, completely exhausted he quit running and started banging his head bloody against the picture-less walls. Then he'd wake up shaking and alone. Now Dean was back and he was still alone.

Sam's best bet was to do his job, stay clear of his powers. Even though he felt he had finally turned something horrible into something good. He couldn't turn that leaf over ever again, he'd only find slugs.

A breeze floated by, the scent of leather making his nose twitch.

"Dean?" Sam's breath whooshed from his lungs.

"Sam, what the hell are you doing?" Dean crouched next to him getting right up in Sam's face. "You're drunk."

"Am not." Sam waved a hand in the air -- or was that two.

"Is that Tequila?" Dean tried to snatch the bottle away.

"Mine, Dean." Sam spit, pulling the bottle away.

"Are you crazy, drinking an entire bottle straight?"

"Not straight. Got this." Sam held up a cut lime, stuck it in his mouth and sucked.

"Bro." Dean's lips curled looking at the sour fruit. "You're crazy," he said, harshly.

"I'm not crazy!" Sam yelled, slugging down a drink and coming up choking. "I'm a freak -- remember, Dean?"

"Sammy." Dean's voice grew softer. "C'mon, man."

"Just forget it." Sam lifted the bottle and took another hard hit.

"You okay?"

"Don't feel a thing," Sam said, eyeing the worm floating about in sediment.

Why did they put a worm in every bottle? Maybe to kill the taste of alcohol. Sam took another slug, his mouth numb.

"Dean. Go away. I…I…I'm…."

"Hammered?" Dean offered.

"Loopy," Sam corrected, listing to the left, his head spinning like he'd bought an all night ticket to ride a carousel.

"We'll deal with this, Sam. All of it -- I swear it."

"Sure." Sam knocked back another swig. "Whatever," Sam slurred, watery eyes transfixed on the bottle in his shaky hands..

Dean pulled out his silver flask, and sat down shoulder to shoulder next to Sam. "Mind if I join you?" He unscrewed the cap, taking a drink.

"Dizzy," Sam murmured, his bottle slipping from his fingers and lying loosely in his lap.

He half-expected Dean to bolt away from the monster he was, but big brother didn't flinch.

"You think you feel bad now?" Dean chuckled, taking another drink of his own.

"The devil made me do it," Sam gagged.

"Not funny," Dean scolded. "You going to hurl?"

"No." Sam swallowed down on nothing.

"Yes you are."

"Not," Sam drunkenly laughed.

"Are."

"Not."

"Sam, do you even know what you're arguing about?"

"I'm not a freak, Dean." Sam looked up at his brother. His expression a mixture of tears and looped up smile. "I'm not a freak," he slurred again, his head drooping to his brother's shoulder, eyes sliding shut.

"I know you're not, Sammy," Dean whispered.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Ohhh," Sam groaned.

"You breathing?" A voice thundered in his ear. "Sam?"

"Don't think so." Sam turned his head and pried his eyes open.

"Dude, you smell like a bag of soggy Doritos."

It took a moment, but Sam's foggy mind crunched the fact he was still sitting against the alley dumpster, shoulder to shoulder with Dean.

"Damn," he ground out as the alley clocked ninety or more miles an hour around him. "Tell me you're the ghost of liquor's past."

"Nope." Came the short reply.

"Feel like hell." Sam slammed his eyes shut staring into darkness.

"Good," Dean simply stated, his hand moving to caress the back of Sam's neck.

"Please tell me I didn't drink the whole bottle," Sam moaned, wrapping his arms around his stomach.

"You didn't drink the whole bottle," Dean said dryly. "You drank the whole bottle plus the worm. Worse, you threw up on me."

"Sorry," Sam muttered, feeling something inside straining at the leash to be let loose and wishing the world would disappear from under him.

Sam looked at his brother. He could tell Dean was beat. He'd obviously had sat with Sam all night. On his ass, pressed up against a maggot infested dumpster, upon the cold damp ground. Sam felt a wave of guilt wash over him. Dean deserved to know what was going on in his head.

"Dean, about my powers…"

"Sam, be careful," Dean launched into his big brother speech. "You're playing with a mighty force that could explode in your face. Sam, this is no game. If you're not careful this power…it could conquer us both and…"

There was a flash of light and Sam stiffened, no longer seeing Dean or hearing his words. Sam was drawn to the past. Sitting with Jessica in their apartment, and hearing something she had said to him in what felt like a life time ago.

'Sam, I love you. The mightiest force on this planet is love. It conquers all -- if we allow it too. Love can up heave a mountain, Sam. Love can explode across the universe. Love can see us through.'

"Sam, you hear me?" Dean nudged him with an elbow. "

Drawn back to reality, Sam squinted, studying Dean and seeing something in his brother's eyes that he didn't see before. Fear. Worry. Vulnerability. The weight on his shoulders -- a burden no one should have to bear. Dean had crash-landed in the center of heavenly apparitions and the love for his brother. At that moment Sam realized if the situation was struck and reversed -- he'd have been angry with Dean for using demon powers too. Even though the coldness of Dean's words had hurt, Sam would have said the same. A desperate attempt to haul Dean back onto the reservation. Black power like that, was a slippery slop that would only get darker and darker.

He loved Dean. More than anything -- he loved his brother.

"Dean…I…you…I…" Tequila swirled through him keeping Sam from saying the three words they never, ever said to one another. Still, he had to try. "You didn't pick a freak to be your brother." Came out instead.

"Yeah, more like I picked you out of a police lineup," Dean drawled. "Sam, get a grip. Family doesn't pick family. You were issued to me at birth. Non-refundable. I wouldn't trade you for all the Goobers and Raisinets in the world. You know that."

"Do I, Dean?" The alcohol continued to talk for Sam.

"If you don't -- "Dean paused. "Then I went to hell for nothing. Did I go to hell for nothing, Sammy?"

Sam didn't answer. Couldn't.

"Dude?" Dean demanded an answer.

"You bastard!" Sam stood to leave but fell back.

"Takes one to know one, kiddo."

Sam sat mouth gapping not knowing what to say.

No!" Sam pounded a fist to the ground. "No, damn it!" Sam peered down at his shaking hands. "Not for nothing."

He wanted to cry like a baby, but didn't. He wanted to run away, but couldn't. Instead he stuffed his hands in his pockets and cleared the lump lodged in his throat.

"You're my brother, Dean. I…"

"Shut up." Dean hauled Sam to his feet, pulled an arm securely around his neck, and made a beeline out of the alley.

Sam staggered along, wishing things could be normal. Wishing they could just be two brothers fighting each other over baseball trading cards, and bubble gum, who's turn it was to take out the garbage, maybe even a girl or two. It was an impossible wish, Sam knew.

"Dean." Sam stiffened in his grasp. "Wait a second." They stopped under the buzzing pink Flamingo.

"So help me, Sam. You puke on me again and I'll…"

"Dean." Sam turned to face his brother, fingers knotting into Dean's jacket. He had to say the words. He glanced down. If he wasn't looking Dean in the eye maybe he could. "Dean, I…" Sam started shaking. "You know I…what you did for me. Going to hell…" He knotted his fingers deeper into leather. "Nobody would have…" Sam raised his eyes. "Jess once told me... Dean, I lo…"

"Sam, I told you to shut up." Dean pulled Sam back against his side. "You're drunk."

"You're stupid."

"Bitch."

"Jerk."

"That's my boy," Dean proudly announced as they staggered back to the motel room, the unsaid words loud as thunder in their hearts.

The end.