a/n: Here's another idea that kept nagging me and my busy life until it made its way to paper. It's a different one for me, but I'm thrilled with it. It takes place immediately after Lucifer Rising. Sam must go through detox again, and this time Dean stays in the panic room with him, for his own safety is in question as well. I've seen a lot of fics contemplating the events after Lucifer Rising, but I'm certain what I have here is a much different slant.

This is entirely from Dean's POV and shows the slow anguish he has to go through in watching Sam fall apart while contemplating what happens with him and the world next. I intended this to be a one shot, but in editing I added this and that, and next thing you know it's a small multi-chapter story. This will only be two or three chapters. Also this one bounces around in time a bit, so I tried to use subtitles to minimize confusion.

For any of you that follow my House stuff, something new is coming from there as well. It's kind of a sequel to Primary Care, post season five. I just had to get this one out first!

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The Blind Side of Life

His eyes didn't have much to turn to, focusing on the almost blinding light bouncing through the slow swirl of fan blades. To think that not to long ago he liked the symbolism, the ethereal light coming through the pentagram, hinting protection. Today it meant nothing. He wasn't sure what was worse, never believing in God and angels or beginning to believe in them only to have that faith yanked away by the cruel reality of the universe.

Dean Winchester thought he had seen it all in his lifetime, but nothing could have prepared him for what had happened over the last few days. The end is near, that's an understatement. The end is here, and it sucks.

He was tired. Tired of fighting wars, tired of being pulled back and forth between good and evil like he was a rag doll, and tired of climbing those damn wooden stairs of Bobby's basement. He'd been up and down them plenty of times in his lifetime with no issues other than the musty smell hitting him in the face, but lately, each step only made him wearier. A promise was a promise though, and this time he wouldn't let Sam down.

He let out a quick sigh, propping himself up on his elbows on the cot, checking to see if anything had changed on the other side of the confined space. It hadn't. He dropped back down onto his back, wondering how much longer this would take. It was bad the last time, now it was far worse.

To think only two days ago he and Sam were coming back from Maryland. The trip was quiet, a little too quiet. Driving Ruby's mustang felt strange and he longed for the roar and rugged feel of his baby again. He was eager to give the car to Bobby and let him do something with it. He smiled at the thought of it being painted black and hanging with the Impala. He wiped that thought from his mind though when he remembered it was still that skank's car. Maybe a burning would be better.

Sam wasn't comfortable the entire trip. Dean wondered if the car reminded Sam too much of what Ruby had done to him, if his guilt over setting Lucifer free was overwhelming him, or if the demon blood withdrawal had kicked in. Probably all three. Whatever was bothering Sam, he refused to talk about it. He didn't say a single word the entire journey, that is until they crossed South Dakota state line.

"I gotta dry out."

"Okay," Dean agreed. "I can help this time."

Sam's didn't react positively or negatively to the offer. He turned his hollow eyes and stone face toward the window and lost himself again.

When they arrived at Bobby's, Sam without pause climbed out of the car and went inside, heading straight for the basement. Bobby held him back before he reached the stairs.

"I'm sorry Sam."

"I need to be locked up now Bobby."

"Sam, I'm not going to treat you like a caged animal this time. There's no reason."

"There's every reason." Sam brushed by him and headed down the stairs.

Dean joined a saddened Bobby, telling him with his drained expression that the trip was rough. "This might kill him," Bobby said when Sam was out of sight.

"I think he wants that," Dean answered. Bobby's face cast downward in sadness and fear what might happen.

Dean snapped back to reality at the sound of Sam's grunting and a quick jerking. He got up and raced over to his brother, who was flat on his back on the cot. Sam eyes rolled around in a total daze while intermittent convulsions rattled his body and grew harder. Sam hadn't been peaceful in his rest the last few hours, but he hadn't had an attack like this one in a while. Dean had been hoping they were done. Apparently not.

Dean leaned over Sam and held onto his sweat soaked cheeks, trying to force eye contact. "Sam, Sam, come on, it's me. Time to pull it together man." Sam didn't respond to his brother's words, lost in his own private Hell.

"Please Sam!"

Sam continued to struggle for several more minutes and Dean's heart dropped, for he was losing hope. This could finally be it for Sam. In a way death wouldn't be so bad. If anyone deserved peace at this point, it would be Sammy. The small thought of comfort was short-lived though, for he wasn't sure Sam would find peace in the great beyond either. He couldn't even pray this time, for he was Heaven's fugitive.

"Stop fighting Sammy. Let go." Eventually Sam's convulsions lessened, his head lolled softly to the side and his eyes closed. Dean's heart pounded as he gazed at his ghost white brother, afraid to check to see if Sam was gone or not. He saw the slight rise and fall in his chest and felt relief. Sam was still alive.

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Two Days Earlier

Dean and Bobby went down the creaky stairs, finding Sam had already gotten settled in the panic room. Dean noticed the modifications. Aside from the fact there was more furniture in there, including two beds, there were new symbols on the floor surrounding the devil's trap and on the door.

"Angel proofing?" Dean asked, recognizing some of those symbols from the funeral home in their spirit encounter with Alastair.

"I hope it's enough. Demons I get, angels..."

It suddenly hit Dean. "That's how Sam got out before." He wanted to kick himself for being so blind to their deception.

"Yeah, that's what I was thinking, thus the changes," Bobby noticed Dean was only half listening. "It's not a bad idea you stay there with him. You both need to lay low for a while."

Dean brought his attention back to Bobby and nodded. "You're right about that." He stepped through the portal and saw Sam sitting on the cot, his thoughts a mile away.

"You yell if you need anything," Bobby said, closing the door. Dean saw that the latch was still missing on the inside. He wasn't surprised that the intent was more than to keep the bad things out. Bobby had every right to be cautious of Sam.

He can get us anything? Dean thought while pacing around, examining the place. Given Sam's state, hookers were out. He'd also recently lost his taste for burgers. He worked his way over to his cot and got comfortable. "So, it seems we're both in here for a while."

Sam didn't answer, his eyes fixed on his lap. Sam was already having trouble staying still, his legs and arms twitching in an uncoordinated fashion.

"I can see if Bobby's got a deck of cards or something."

"No thanks," Sam softly replied.

Dean accepted Sam's mood, for he knew he and Sam both didn't take guilt very well. Sam didn't pry when he was in the hospital and refused to talk about his meltdown with Castiel. Sam didn't judge when he told him he broke the first seal. Sam just quietly listened and tried to tell him it wasn't his fault. They both knew that didn't offer comfort, but he appreciated the gesture anyway. Now it was his turn, and Dean wasn't sure silence was the best thing.

"Sam, uh, look, I know you're pretty broken up about everything. I understand that you don't want to talk about it, but maybe saying a little something wouldn't hurt."

"What's there to say Dean? You know what I did."

"Sam, it wasn't your fault."

Sam squinted and pressed his lips, fighting whatever emotional rise hit him. "I don't want to talk about it," his terse voice said.

Dean nodded and examined the nearby pile of skin magazines Bobby had left. He didn't want to look at scantily clad women right now, but needed to keep up appearances with Sam. He raised an eyebrow at a hot babe shot and grinned. Sam sighed, laid down and rolled over, his shaking a little more pronounced. Dean frowned and put down the magazine, feeling really tired himself. He settled down and was asleep in no time.

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8 hours later

Dean tried to ignore the sound of Sam's boots clomping against the concrete floor, but they grew faster and louder. He opened one eye, seeing the jittery mess. "Sam?"

"I'm sorry Dean," Sam said, sweat pouring into his already drenched hair. His teeth were chattering as well, like he was cold, but he looked too warm.

"It's okay Sammy."

"You always said you didn't want me to become a monster. Why haven't you hunted me by now?"

"We both did this. Remember, I started it. I'm not hunting you." Dean came to realize that Sam wasn't looking at him and or responding.

"Just go ahead. Do it. You'll be doing me a favor." Sam faced the vacant spot, swaying back and forth on his unsteady feet. Then he flung open the top part of his shirt exposing his upper chest. "Just do it already!"

Dean walked up to Sam, who was waiting for something to happen. He waved his hand in front of Sam, but he didn't notice it. "Perfect," he said sarcastically. "The lights are burning bright but nobody's home."

"Why won't you kill me? I haven't been myself for a while now. I'm evil Dean. You should have listened to dad."

Dean wasn't sure what to do. Either let Sam work through this hallucination, or try to snap him out of it.

"Fine!" An angry Sam said, letting go of his shirt. "Give me the knife and I'll do it myself." Sam was breathing heavily now, and after a few seconds didn't seem to like whatever answer he got. He yelled and charged after nothing, swiping at air like he was trying to grab something. "Give it to me!"

Dean rushed over and grabbed Sam, restraining his arms so he wouldn't clock him one. "Wake up Sam! You're hallucinating!"

Sam still struggled so Dean tackled him onto the cot and pinned him down. Sam wouldn't stop squirming underneath him. "Damn you Dean. You should have put a bullet in my brain when you had the chance."

Dean rolled Sam over and looked at those sunken, pained eyes. He shook him hard. "Wake up Sam!"

Suddenly Sam's faraway gaze disappeared and he looked at Dean with glassy eyes. "What happened?"

"Your mind went AWOL." Dean let go of a very confused Sam, who went slack on the bed and grabbed his forehead with both hands. He had trouble controlling his breath, looking like he was losing the fight for mental and physical control.

Dean went over to the desk and leaned against it, giving his brother a minute or so to pull it together. "Anything you want to talk about?"

"No."

"Sam-"

"What do you want me to say? I'll never be fixed. I'll never be alright."

"How can you say that?"

"I can't go back Dean. I unleashed the beast inside. It'll always have control. I was stupid for thinking I wouldn't let it get too far."

"We get this demon blood out of you and you'll be back to what you were before Ruby turned you into a junkie."

"That's not true."

"Why not?"

Sam sighed and raised himself up into sitting position, closing his eyes when the world got a little dizzy in the process. "Ruby told me something after I killed Lilith."

Dean didn't like the long pause. "Well, I'm waiting."

"It wasn't drinking demon blood that made me powerful. I've been that way all along. I've always had it inside me."

"She was lying."

"No Dean, she wasn't."

Dean took a minute to process what Sam was saying. "So you're telling me that bitch got you sucking blood for kicks?"

"To control me, yeah."

Now Dean wished he had killed the bitch sooner. He grumbled it under his breath, but wouldn't let Sam hear it.

"That's not all," Sam said.

"It gets worse?"

"When I was killing Lilith, everything went black."

Dean shrugged. "That's a lot of juice flowing, I'm sure things got fuzzy."

"No, I mean..." Sam sighed, very uncomfortable by what he was trying to explain. "I mean, my eyes went totally black. The power coming from me when that happened, it was-"

Dean gave him an anxious look. "What?"

Sam adjusted himself before giving an answer. "Demonic. I went full demon Dean, black eyes and all. All that's inside of me in full force now. It's never going to go away."

"You can fight it."

"What if I'm forced to use that power? Remember Samhain? What if it isn't a Ruby manipulating me next time? What if it's Lucifer? I'm too dangerous Dean. I should be-"

Dean knew where he was going. "What, dead?"

"Yeah."

"Remember when you told me you wanted to use that evil inside of you for good. You still can. Considering what we're up against, we could use it."

"I set Lucifer free Dean! How can I make that better?"

"We'll come up with something."

"I can't ever leave here Dean. I'll hurt people. I should be caged." Just then Sam got intense chills and his body shook hard. Dean came over, picked up the blanket on the edge of the cot and gently wrapped it around him.

"We'll worry about that later. Let's get you through this."

Dean went back to his cot and watched Sam struggle with the shakes and whatever he just confessed. His hunch was he hadn't heard it all, and hoped he could get more out of Sam later. He had this awful pit in his stomach, for there were no answers right now. Maybe Sam was right. Death might be the only option.

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a/n: Interested in chapter two?