Disclaimer: No money being made, purely for enjoyment of fans, etc.

Note: This story ties in with my story Give and Take (it is a sort of indirect sequel), but is (mostly) stand-alone – you don't have to read that to follow this, and you don't have to read this to read that, etc.

This story takes place in 'the summer of 2009' (after the Season 4 finale, Lucifer Rising in May and before the Season 5 premiere in September). It may (or may not) therefore turn out to be 'AU' because I am working on the presumption that Eric Kripke will (probably) not go down the route of making Sam the 'host'. (Since the 'cage' turned out to be a convent not 'of flesh' (i.e., within a human) and surely, as the biggest bad of them all and an angel, not a former human, Lucifer doesn't need a host?)

I am therefore going to presume the Season 5 premiere will be along the lines that after the boys being 'blinded by the light', they found themselves alone at ground zero with Lucifer having skipped out and loose on the world, whilst the archangel was busy giving aggravation to Chuck and Castiel. This story starts a couple of weeks or so later, when they're still clueless as to where Lucifer is, what he's doing, how they're going to stop him, etc, and where there is a worrying silence from 'upstairs' following up Dean and Castiel's monumental screwing up of Zachariah's neat little Apocalypse Now wipe-out-the-pesky-humans-and-it-will-be-paradise plan. NB - this story contains violence, sexualised scenes, the odd expletive, a lot of angst and brooding. I would rate it as definitely T-M although given what even most pre-adolescent kids watch and read these days how meaningful that is I cannot say.

ROLLING STONES

Chapter 1

Damn it! He'd dropped it from, like, two feet above the carpet, how could it have bounced so far under the bed?! And this place was barely above a charge-by-the-hour 'hooker hotel'; there was stuff under here that had probably evolved to the point where any second now it would try and strike up a conversation. His fingertips waggled juuuust a millimetre…too…far…too….far…to…and he felt a faint prickling/tingling sensation inside his skull.

No.

Sam remained kneeling at the side of the bed but closed his eyes for a moment consciously relaxing his muscles and calming his frustration down – that was what had triggered what Bobby had called his brain's 'autonomic reflex' to fix his frustration – by simply using his telekinesis to get the cigarette lighter.

And that was the problem; your heartbeat was an autonomic reflex, it required no conscious effort or control. He had been too emotionally flattened by Ruby's bombshell that the power had always been his 'you don't need the feather, Dumbo!' that he had been able to do nothing but clutch at Dean when – because of his stupidity, gullibility and pride – the Devil himself had broken out of jail!

Perhaps fortunately, there had been that clichéd 'flash of blinding light' and Lucifer was gone, leaving the pair of them in a shaking building that was crashing down all around them. Sam had no real idea how they'd managed to stagger clear of the collapsing masonry. He'd been virtually catatonic, literally numb and dumb with shock, only aware of Dean's voice as an indistinct murmur as his brother drove with one-hand at terrifying speed and talked will his cell jammed against his neck.

Apparently, though Dean had to tell Sam again, later, when the fog began to lift, the archangel that Castiel and Chuck had been fending off had simply stopped and gone away at what would have been the exact moment Lucifer also pulled his vanishing act to G- who-knew-where. Chuck Shirley voluntarily getting in the face of an archangel? It was hysterical, in more ways than one. However, both Chuck and Cas – which sounded like a music hall double act – were adamant that there had been as complete a silence from Upstairs since Lucifer had risen and Zachariah's Apocalypse Now plan had clearly blown up in his celestial face as there had been from Downstairs since Lucifer had risen.

Somehow Bobby's kitchen had become command central and Sam had admitted during one 'war' session with himself, Dean, Bobby and Castiel that he should have known the demon blood was at best a placebo and an outright McGuffin. After all, he'd witnessed the other psychics pull of almost the same feats with no need for hellish haemoglobin, so he should have acknowledged that the issue lay with him, Sam, not the powers or Azazel…

"Look we both missed it," Dean's were moss-green with concern as they looked at him because they were always that way now when they looked at him, like he was a hand grenade with a faulty pin that had to be handled with extreme care because it was either going to do nothing or going to blow your hand off any second. "That baby, Rosie, was psychic before Azazel did the B&E into her nursery and we got her before he did, so he didn't give her the powers."

"Still is a psychic baby – or kindergartener now," Bobby put in. "Missouri Moseley moved to the same town as Rosie last year. I asked her to check up – she says Rosie's got the whammy. The parents have got a new baby boy. When mom was 6 months along, Rosie starts screaming the place down. They rush her to ER where she magically sits up fine just as mom doubles up and loses blood and needed foetal surgery."

But the knowledge only made Dean more frightened of him. Oh, not that he said or did anything – right now Dean was the rock Sam's shattered heart and battered psyche were cleaving to limpet-like, but Sam knew Dean had desperately been hoping that with Ruby dead, alongside Azazel, Lillith and Alistair, that Sam's powers would similarly be deep-sixed.

Sam knew that because he had been hoping the same thing – again, knowing he was undeserving of being able to save face, Sam had confessed to them that in the back of his mind, one of the reasons he had been so eager to confront Lillith was because of the searing headaches and nosebleeds – his hope had been that going up against something of Lillith's power would metaphorically burn what he believed to be Azazel's infection out of him like a fire that was extinguished when it consumed all the fuel. Since Azazel was dead, courtesy of Dean, there was no more fuel, ergo, the fire could never be relit.

Which left him in his current state – sickened by his own stupidity, mortified by his arrogance, and terrified of himself. When Dean and Cas had been outside in the yard – ostensibly feeding the Rottweillers Bobby bred – Sam had talked to Bobby, who had told him that trying to shut his powers down now – after he had reached the level of killing demons with his mind – was like bolting the stable door as you watched your Kentucky Derby hopeful disappearing over the horizon at top speed.

Rosie's example alone showed that it was natural to use the abilities instinctively, and unless Sam exercised constant vigilance, his mind would just 'do' what was now natural to it since Ruby's subterfuge had unbolted the mental doors Sam had placed around his abilities; the trouble with constant vigilance was that you couldn't maintain it for long – people rarely thought about the fact that their heart was beating, their lungs were inflating, their stomach was digesting without them having to monitor any to ensure they were doing it right or were keeping on doing it.

Sam knew it too well – yet another night staring at the ceiling of their bedroom at Bobby's in self-loathing and bitter remorse had been interrupted when Dean, sleeping restlessly and fidgeting, had rolled to the very edge of the bed and Sam, without even thinking about it, telepathically rolled him back over the other way saving him from a painful jolt if he'd fallen out. He hadn't even realised for nearly a minute afterwards what he'd done!

But he would not disappoint Dean by using his powers for anything, sure as hell not his own convenience, because he didn't deserve to have any convenience. Even when he was alone, he would not indulge himself, because it just made it harder. Other people like Dean and Bobby had to get up from the table and walk across the kitchen to get the peanut butter, so he would have to. Other people couldn't magic their cigarette lighter from under the bed, so neither could he –

Right, he leaned forward under the bed one more time and tried to inch forward in the small space. Just a little bit – nearly – ouch – he rapped his head as the maid rapped the door with fresh towels.

"Sure, just leave 'em on the bed!" Wait – wait…yes! His fingers got the corner of the lighter, tightened, and held. He drew back, grinning down at his prize. "Finally, my day is getting better."

"I'm afraid not, darling."

The amused, familiar voice made him twist his head sharply around and up and he had a split-second to stare at the speaker before the sap smartly smacked against his head and pitched him into oblivion.

Continued in Chapter 2

© The Cat's Whiskers