WELCOME

TO YOUR NIGHTMARE

By: Karen B.

Summary: A small snippet…Set sometime after episode 4.7 -- It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester. A simple salt and burn? Never happen. Sam's worst fear manifests itself. Reality or Dream? Sam angst…..protective Dean

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.

I think this one came from the seaweed for hair old bag……shrug….thank you for reading!

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It was a cold dark night, and the wind danced around the unkept cemetery. Taking in a deep breath, I could detect the approach of a rainstorm. Mist rose up from the ground, and fog swirled around a grove of Birch treeS. The peeling bark and whiteness of their trunks made them look like ghosts swaying to and fro.

Dean and I crawled out of the grave, both our shovels dropping with a thud to the dirt.

The scent of fresh dug dirt and rotting pine didn't normally make me queasy, but something about tonight was different.

I bit back a whimper, shaking the dizziness from my head.

"Hey, potato head." Dean cast a sideways glance at me, wiping the dirt from his brow with his sleeve. "You going to take a nosedive?" Dean stepped back, picking up the salt. "You don't look so good," he said, jumping into Defcon Four while sprinkling the bones like he was salting a couple of fried eggs.

"You missed a spot," I muttered, ignoring the comment.

"Where?"

"There." I pointed.

"The thigh bone?" Dean waggled a brow, his gaze sliding over the skeleton. "Sam…" he added more salt to the area in question. "You are such the perv."

"Shut up." I straightened, trying to look steady on my feet. A couple of Tylenol and a good night sleep would cure that. "Dean, you know you can't salt and talk."

"I can do both." Dean fumbled with the salt nearly dropping the box into the grave.

"My point," I laughed.

"Least I don't make strange dog noises during sex." A slow, wicked smile spread across Dean's face. "Poor chicks."

"Oh, c'mon, man! Not the 'poor chicks' thing, again." I rolled my eyes, my brother was always ripping on me about the girls. "And you think you're such a ladies man, Dean?"

"Casanova…" Dean held up two fingers. "Times two." He winked.

"Yeah, whatever, dude." I gave Dean my best cold look, relieved when he went back to the salt and burn, 'nosedive' forgotten.

Watching Dean do the job, I smiled weakly to myself, remembering when we were kids. We didn't have much to keep us entertained, and Dad wasn't around a lot. Dean and I used to make up games. 'The flare game' was one of our favorites. We used to scrap off the heads of matches with our pocket knives, and dump the fueled pellets onto a sheet of newspaper. Then we'd strike a match and drop the flame onto the pile of match heads-- instant flare.

Each time we'd play, we'd use more and more match heads, our flares getting bigger and bigger. It was a fun game. Until, one 'all time record breaking' flare caught my shirt on fire, singing my arm bad enough I needed medical attention. That's how Dad found out. After that, he schooled Dean and I on the proper use of match lighting.

While other kids our age were playing paper, scissors, rock for the fun of it; Dean and I played to see who got to burn a coffin full of bones next. I learned pretty quick big brother loved scissors, and won my fair share of burns. But Dean always had a flare for the job, pun intended, and eventfully flicking a match into a consecrated grave became his trusted duty. Besides, I had graduated to building mason-jar bombs.

I snorted at the memory.

"What?" Dean asked, squirting the bones with gasoline.

"I bet our father was the only one on this planet that let his Third and Seventh grade sons play with gasoline and matches."

"I dunno." Dean shrugged, his eyes narrowing. "Maybe," he muttered.

I shook my head, not understanding why Dean always got so damn serious when it came to burning bones.

I'd watched my older brother salt and burn an untold number of skeletons, and it never ceased to amaze me. Of all the things we'd faced, all the evil, all the hunts, Dean never looked more dangerous to me then just before striking a match.

Side by side we'd stood over grave after grave. Every single time, like religion, when Dean struck that match -- it was like the world bowed to him and knelt reverent at his feet.

"Let's burn this mother." Dean reached into his flannel shirt pocket and retrieved a book of matches.

Opening the cover, he pulled off a matchstick, held it between thumb and first two fingers striking the match head across the back of the book.

Dean held the match as we both watched it dance and burn. The howling of the wind nearly blew out the tiny flicker, but Dean cupped his hand around the flame as if he was protecting the last light on earth.

"Goodbye, ugly," he said, finally dropping the match into the six foot deep hole.

The pile of bones erupted into hissing flames, the warmth reaching upward causing sweat to bead on our foreheads. As we watched the burn, smoke rose from the pit and blanketed the ground around us. Everything got very quiet and I had the sensation someone was watching us. Glancing around there was no one. Still, the energy was strong. An invisible presence.

Not too many things could make me shudder, or make the hairs on the back of my neck rise to attention, but something was doing just that. I drew a breath and turned from the burning bones, cautiously scanning the area. Things suddenly got real weird. Instead of the rain shower I'd been excepting, snow showered down from the sky. The white stuff swiftly transformed the ground, trees, and tombstones into a winter wonderland. It was like being trapped inside a snow globe. The moon peeked out from behind a cloud illuminating the area, making everything appear dreamlike -- but I was fully awake. If it wasn't for the feeling of being watched and the goose bumps now chasing each other up and down my spine, the eerie silence would have been beautiful -- a moment eternalized -- frozen in time.

"Dean, what do you make of this?" I turned back, but Dean was gone. The burning grave -- also gone. There was nothing but blackness behind me. "What the?" What kind of sick joke was this and how did Dean pull it off?

I felt woozy again, disoriented, almost as if I'd been drugged. I turned back around holding out my hand, expecting the white flakes to melt as soon as they touched warm flesh. Instead, the mysterious white powder was hot and didn't dissolve as it gathered in my palm.

"Ahh!" I shook my hand noting the red marks left behind.

I was puzzled, but quickly came to realize what I'd mistook for snow -- was actually sulfuric ash.

A shadow moved from behind one of the nearby Birch trees. "Dean?" I called.

I expected to see an old leather jacket, and a cocky 'I got you' smile. I was stunned when the shadow stepping away from the tree into the moonlight, was a strikingly beautiful woman in a long red dress. A woman in red. I cocked my head studying her, feeling like a zombie, mesmerized by her beauty as she prowled closer.

I racked my eyes over her body, feeling like the 'perv' my brother accused me of being until I came to her eyes.

"Crap!" I stumbled back a step. Her eyes were as pitch-black as her hair. "Demon," I muttered, going for the holy water in my pocket. No go. I couldn't budge.

"I prefer, mischievous spirit," the woman in red giggled.

She stared at me.

I stared at her -- intently wondering just who was studying who. I wanted to turn away, but couldn't. Her negative energy was like a lightning bolt striking my soul. I tried to call out to Dean -- an impossible task. It was all I could do to breathe in and out -- shallow puffs of air.

"Hi, Sam." She now stood directly in front of me.

My body tensed, she knew my name. I was completely paralyzed, as if someone had wrapped a spool of steel cable around my entire body.

"Do you understand what you have done?" she asked, one hand reaching out and grasping my throat, fingers closing. I could feel the force of her evil drive through my every nerve ending. "You sent Samhaine back to hell, didn't you? You've sent a lot of my disciples back to hell."

Her grip loosened just a tad. "Wh.." I swallowed hard "What--what do you want?" I could barely breathe through the smell of putrid sulfur.

"I want a dirty Martini and raspberry cheesecake, Sam." The smile on her face made me sick. "Maybe a little roll in your dirty laundry." She pursed her lips.

"No thanks," I replied trying to sound polite -- but not. "I prefer beer and peanuts, and I only roll in hay."

"It's your life, Sam Winchester. Too bad, though. You always were the cute one," she purred.

"Where's Dean?" I glanced around. "What do you want?"

"What do you think I want?" She grinned wickedly, the purr gone, replaced by a hard-edged tone.

"World peace," I scuffed.

"Cute. No, Sam. World peace is a promise you humans are too stubborn to keep. I'm here about the angels and your brother," she said in a cheerful voice.

"What have you done to my brother?" I tried to move, every muscel straining, but I was trapped within her hold. "If you've done something to him I'll…" I grimaced, my words choked off by her fingers digging into my throat.

"As I was saying, Sam, the angels and your brother…they're not the only ones who want you to stop using your powers." She stroked the side of my neck with her thumb. "You know that don't you, Sammy?"

"Sam," I gagged.

"Sammy," she said seductively. "A word to the college wise. Do not use your powers…" She paused to lick her lips. "Or I'll have to summon the dogs from hell to drag your brother's ribbon shredded body back into the pit. And this time, Sammy, I'll bury him in the hole so deep, under a ton of hostility, violence, and ..." she paused. "And I promise you, Sammy, no angel, demon, you, or God The Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth will ever pull him out." She smiled, taking a long minute to gloat.

I opened and closed my mouth desperate to speak, to do anything.

"What's that, Sammy? I can't hear you." She eased off her hold.

"You filthy bitch!" I breathed out, eyes watering, and body shaking with fierce anger. "No way, you touch him!" I gasped for air.

"Ohhh, Sammy." She tilted her head, a wave of desire crossing her face. "I love when you talk dirty to me."

"Keep away from my brother!"

"I'll hang him back on the rack with one sway of my hip."

"You're going back to hel…"

"No, no I'm not, Sammy," She laughed, her eyes darkening as she cut off my air supply again.

I scowled in deep concentration, clenching my fits and puffing out my chest in raw determination. My head was pounding and I whimpered in pain, but didn't stop. My lips curled into a satisfying smile. This bitch was going to hell. I could feel the power. My ablility always started at the tips of my toes and volcanically coiled its way up and out my fingertips.

"Stop i!" The demon's eyes flared when I zapped her, black smoke being pulled from her chest and swirling around her wrists like a bracelet. "Sam!"She staggered, and her hand eased off my neck some.

"You're so road kill," I whispered, grinding my teeth together. "Sending you back..." The she devil regained control, squeezing, cutting off my words and powers.

I could feel my eyes bulging out of their sockets, my breath captured in my lungs, the need to breathe stabbing at my chest. Still, I used every ounce of my strength of mind snarling like some rabid dog.

"You're wasting your strength, demon boy. I can think of much better ways to spend that energy." She leaned in close, toying. "Can't you?" she asked in amusement. Opening her mouth, her lips barely touched mine. "I could turn your brother into Hamburger Helper with the blink of one eye, but that'd be too pain free." Her face was expressionless, stabbing straight into my heart. "What I have in store for him is much more fun. And will hurt like…well... like hell." She kissed me.

I tried to pull back, but her thrusting tongue worked its evil. She knew exactly what she was doing. I finally gathered the strength to break away.

"Do what you want with me... but stay away from Dean!"

She glared at me, the very blistering inferno of hell living within her.

"No offense boy king, but I really don't give a shit about your brother."

"And you give a shit about me?"

"God and his angels sure don't. Somebody should give a 'shit' about you, Sammy. But weather I do or not…" the hell bitch ran her fingers through my hair. "That depends."

"On what?" I thrashed about, but couldn't break free from her clutches.

"On whether Dean can save you or not. If your brother fails and falls, Sammy. You will lead the armies of hell into war."

"No!" I gritted out clenched teeth. "Not going to happen. Never!" I spat.

"Sam, is it?" she said seriously. "Sam, it's not heroic love that will bring salvation, but in what you leave torn and shredded lying bloody on the battlefield. One of you will die. Which one -- " She callously flipped her long black hair over her shoulder. "No one knows."

"Who are you?" I growled.

"Who do you think? I'll give you a little hint." Her hand around my throat felt like it was searing my soul and I grimaced. "You once wished my head bloody… on a plate."

The words dropped like a bomb.

"Lilith!"

Numb with disbelief, I watched as her black as pitch eyes turned albino white, then glowed crimson red. Souls wailed in agony, fiendish beasts roared, and the hounds of hell howled straining to be unleashed.

I focused all my fury on the she-demon before me, my body quivering and trembling, begging to be set free. I could taste the bloodlust on my lips. Felt the fire bubble deep in my belly. I wanted to blast the bitch back to hell. Rip her piece by piece until she was nothing more than a swirling black cloud of smoke and embers.

I took in a deep breath and held it, the beat of my heart increasing. My fingers crimped and clawed at the air, desperate to make my wish come true. To let loose my power. But nothing happened. I didn't understand. I'd escaped her demon ray before, why couldn't I move now?

"Why, Sammy?" Lilith sneered, reading my thoughts. "Welcome to your nightmare. Haven't you figured it out yet? You can't touch me here inside your head." Lilith poked an index finger against my forehead and gave an evil laugh.

"I'm going to kill you!" I spat, desperate as an alcoholic in a dry town. "If I have to rip out my own heart with my bare hands and belly crawl into the pit after you…" I sucked in a breath feeling like I was suffocating. "I'll never stop!" I trembled with anger. "Not until you're dead."

I swore that was fear I saw flickering in the demon's eyes. Lilith looked like a scared child.

"We shall see, Sammy. For destiny does not disappear into the night, and heros do not ride off into the sunset." The menacing look had returned, the scared child gone. Lilith lay a hand against my chest and gave a forceful shove. "See you around, Sammy."

I staggered back, weak and dizzy. All I could do was close my eyes to the never ending nightmare. I could feel my hands shaking. Felt the ground uneven beneath my feet.

"Sam. Sam." A familiar voice chattered in my ear, reaching out to me from a distance.

I had the helpless sensation of tumbling through space, like some astronaut lost in an endless abyss.

"Sammy! Steady hands gripped me by the biceps and shook hard. "Sam! What the hell?"

I opened my eyes. I was still in the cemetery and the bones were still burning. The warmth of the blaze seeping into my cold body.

"What?" I shook my head.

"Nosedive, Sam." Dean's grip tightened.

"You wish," I said, trying to keep the tremor out of my voice and looking around for Lilith, but knowing she was long gone.

"Sam, I'm not stupid. I know when something is wro…" Dean's tyrant was interrupted as I swayed off my feet. ""Hey, hey. What's with you?"

I stared mutely. Dean, always the shepherd protecting the smallest lamb. I was no lamb. Didn't he know I was a monster.

"Sam!" Dean raised his voice. "Don't be a clam. Talk to me. You okay? Or are you practicing for that overly dramatic school play again?"

"Just a little dizzy," I confessed, betraying my brother. The magnitude of my lie made me shiver. I just couldn't tell him about Lilith. I wouldn't. Dean had enough weight on his shoulders, he didn't need mine added to his load. "Must have blacked out for a second."

"Bull crap, Sam."

I could see out of the corner of my eye, Dean's jaw working hard -- Defcon Three.

"That was more than just a little dizzy spell, potato head. You're shaking."

Shit...Defcon Two.

"I didn't eat all day." I made my excuse, casting a glance at Dean. "We done here?" Change of subject.

"Yeah, Sam. We're friggin' done here."

Nothing more was said, save a combined sigh. We headed back toward the Impala. Once I almost lost my footing. Dean shot a hand to my arm, grasping hold he kept me from going down for the count not saying a word.

Dean held on to my arm leading me around the tombstones, as we headed back toward the Impala. I wanted to cut and run. If I was nowhere near Dean, maybe all this destiny, one of you must die crap would go away, But, for some reason I didn't run. It was almost like I was frozen on my path, just like I had been frozen in Lilith's grasp. I couldn't escape even that.

Every now and again, I could feel Dean's eyes shift, pretending to scope out the area, but he was checking me out instead. I did some pretending of my own -- and didn't notice.

"When was the last time you ate something?" Dean finally asked.

"I don't know, last night."

"Stupid," Dean muttered, but said nothing more.

Step and breathe. Step and breathe. I couldn't nosedive now, and I sure couldn't tell Dean about my vision, or nightmare, or whatever you wanted to call it. We were almost to the car when it started to rain. I was glad for the first few drops falling from the sky. They covered the first few drops of tears falling from my eyes. I wished for the rain to melt all the crazy crap away. Demons, ghosts, Lilith -- all of it --but it was only a wish and wishing never made anything so.

"Here we are," Dean said leaning me against the side of the Impala.

I groggily closed my eyes, listened to the sound of Dean's muttered curses, fingers scratching against wet fabric as he fumbled for his keys. The rain was falling harder, pinging off metal and dripping to the dirt.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

The wind blew cold. Scenarios of the danger Dean and I were in floated in my mind. Every image was nothing but a nightmare. An endless string of unhappy endings. Lilith's words sickeningly ripped through my skull. 'One of you must die.' The blackness of my own powers smashed like a typhoon against my lungs. I sucked in a breath, feeling like I was drowning in my own demon blood. I was trapped in a storm. Like an old wooden door shaking on weak, rusted hinges. An open door nobody could walk through.

I started to sag.

"Sam!" A hand snagged my shirt.

I felt so alone. I wanted to tell Dean about Lilith but didn't know how.

"Sam!"

There was a horrible ache in the pit of my stomach…or was that my heart?

"Sam."

Dean's eyes met mine.

For a moment, I was lost in their greenness. I couldn't hide from my brother. He knows when something's not right. I relaxed just a little reading Dean's unspoken words loud and clear. He'd stand with me against the storm no matter how windy or how cold or how dark it got -- to the very end.

With a curt nod, Dean settled me in the car and shut the door.

I watched him trot around the front of the car, time ticking in slow motion. Everything felt so wrong. My brother didn't belong here. Didn't belong strung up on a rack in hell. He belonged where angels sat. He was an innocent. I was the one demons had chosen.

I sighed, leaning my head back against the seat. I was stuck between a rock and hell.

Dean got in behind the wheel, immediately reaching around to the back seat.

Here." He tossed a bag of M&Ms into my lap. "Breakfast of champions." Dean shoved the key in the ignition, hiding his concern by not looking at me.

"Pop Tarts," I whispered. "Strawberry."

"Huh?"

"Pop Tarts are the breakfast of champions." I tried for a smile.

"Just eat."

As far back as I could remember, my brother never shared his M&Ms with anyone. They were the 'Impala's' of the snack-food world.

"I'm fine, Dean." I smiled at his concern. "You don't have to share with..."

"Dude!" Dean inclined his head toward me. "Eat." He pinned me with a feral stare.

I could so tell big brother knew something else was going on with little brother, but he didn't press me on it.

"They're just M&Ms, Sam. As long as you were just hungry. Nothing more." Dean arched a single questioning brow.

"Yeah, I'm just hungry." I tore open the bag not really feeling hungry, but not wanting Dean jumping into Defcon One.

"Good." Dean started the engine, putting the car in gear. "Because, I wasn't in the mood to go all Dr. Phil on you," he snickered, slowly driving along the small dirt road winding its way out of the cemetery.

"Yeah," I gave a snort. "I really hate when you do that."

Humor…Dean's antidote for pain -- for everything.

Thinking was mine. I'd broken promises, broken trust. A sacred vow between brothers. How could Dean ever trust me again. I'd used my powers after I said I wouldn't. Reasons why didn't matter. One lie after another I'd told, deceiving not only Dean but myself. I started down the dark slippery slope…and now I was scared there would be no turning back. There was such a fine line between right and wrong. Love and hate. Good and evil. I could only pray my mistakes and my judgment calls wouldn't prove fatal. All that mattered to me now was what was sitting next to me in the driver's seat. Dean had been hurt enough.

Anger and hatred only bred more anger and hatred. Wars had started and millions died because of one man's fatal mistake. One small lie. I wouldn't let this power, this weapon of destruction in the dark reaches of my gut destroy all that I had left in this world.

I looked out the window, eating one M&M at a time. Dean wasn't going back to hell. I wasn't going dark side. The sixty-sixth seal would never be broken. Lucifer wasn't walking free, and I'd have Lilith's head.

Bloody.

On a plate.

So help me!

The end.