a/n: Here it is, the rest of it. Thanks so much for all your interest in this one. I really appreciate all of you taking time to read another one of my strange musings.

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"Kill me," Sam barely mustered with a cracked voice.

Dean looked up from his book, wondering if Sam was talking in his sleep again. Of course considering Sam had been still and quiet for a while, this was an interesting development.

"Dead," Sam slurred, his head lolling weakly back and forth.

Dean got up to investigate, and found two barely cracked open hazel eyes staring at him. "Sam?"

"Must-" Sam's throat couldn't get out anymore, and any attempts to clear it were hampered by intense dryness in his mouth. Dean alertly went to the table, got a cup of water, and brought it back to Sam. Sam's half open eyes craved the drink, but he didn't lift his arm or head to take it. Dean propped Sam's head up, holding the cup to his lips, hoping Sam wasn't too weak to swallow. Sam gulped it down like he'd been roving the desert for days.

"More?" Dean asked.

Sam's head gently shook enough where Dean could tell that was a no.

Sam's expression didn't show any relief once Dean put his head back down on the pillow. If anything, he was more distressed. "Why am I alive?" Sam asked, his voice much clearer now.

"I don't know," replied Dean. "It's not your time I guess."

"I should be dead."

"Yeah, well so should I." The irony of that was never lost on him.

Sam rolled his head again, pressing his lips together and closing his eyes while a few tears fell down his cheeks. A few seconds later he opened his still barely lucid eyes, looking at his brother with distress. "I can't live. I must be punished."

Dean wanted to be patient with his brother, understanding his weakened state, but his nerves were pretty raw right now. "We covered this about ten times during your hallucinations. You're not dying."

That caused Sam to break into sobs. "I'm evil Dean. Please."

"You're talking nonsense Sam. I'm not killing you. Do you know what it's been like to watch you-" Dean stopped himself. He couldn't lay a guilt trip on Sam. Not when he was this frail.

Sam broke down again and Dean realized his brother was far beyond sound mind right now, even though he wasn't hallucinating. Dean gave him some time to get it out, pacing back and forth to get out his own nervous energy.

"I'm not human anymore," Sam said.

"I don't care." Dean hovered over Sam, making sure he got the message. "I'm not giving up on you, no matter what you are. Killing you in this state would make me no better than the whackjobs we go after."

Sam let more tears slide, but maintained better control. "I can't be saved Dean."

"For the last time, no. Your blood will not be on my hands. It's not fair of you to ask."

"Fair?" Sam struggled with his shallow emotional state, heaving short breaths until he took a long deep one. "Nothing about this has ever been fair. Remember what you told me?"

"Sam, I said I was sorry about the monster thing."

"No, you warned me about having blind faith. How you've seen what evil does to good people." Sam let out a couple more anxious sighs. "I was so desperate for redemption that I couldn't tell evil from good. You knew how evil blinds, how it twists desires. Why didn't I listen?"

"That's enough Sam."

"You've always been right, whatever's evil should be killed. I should have killed Ruby when she first appeared. The damage has been done. You need to kill me."

"I said that thing about faith four years ago. Things change. Evil leaves people broken, but not beyond hope. I believe that now."

"Yeah, but I'm not a normal person, am I? Look at me Dean. I don't even have the strength to get out of this bed. I'm beyond hope."

"That does it." Dean briskly went over to the table and grabbed the filled syringe. "I can't take this crazy self pity anymore. You're too much of a head case right now."

"Don't do this to me Dean." Sam moved his arms and legs slightly, but he was far too weak to do more than that. "Drugging me won't fix things. If you knew what was good for this world, you'd inject an empty needle instead."

"Yeah, well apparently I don't." He plunged the device into Sam's arm. Sam eyes rolled to the back of his head and he faded away within seconds.

Dean leaned over Sam, pleased that he wasn't talking anymore. "If you die, you're dying with a purpose."

"Bobby!" Dean yelled as loud as he could. He gazed at his fallen brother while hearing footsteps coming down the stairs. The door opened but Dean's eyes never left Sam, all while he held the empty syringe.

"I've had enough Bobby. We're done hiding," Dean said, throwing the hollow needle on the table. "Help me get Sam upstairs."

"Is this what Sam wants?" Bobby asked.

"He wants to die. He's got a better chance of that happening upstairs because I refuse to kill him."

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One Day Later

"What the hell do you want now?"

Dean looked up from the computer, watching Bobby have his heated conversation on the phone in the kitchen. It must be Rufus again. His eyes moved over to Sam, who was still out on the couch. He shook his head, wondering if Sam was ever going to wake up. First the sedatives didn't work long enough, and now he's been out for almost a day. None of this made sense, but as Bobby so wisely noted, it's not like there's a demon detox manual.

Dean went back to the computer, but he wasn't sure why. He'd been researching and combing news wires for hours. All quiet on the western front. He thought about giving it a rest, but what else would he do? As much as he was dying for a drive in the Impala right now with the windows down, he couldn't leave Sam alone and unprotected. There were too many uncertainties looming.

Dean heard Bobby slam down the phone with a "perfect" and looked up in time to see him race over to the couch. "Get over here and help me, now!" Dean did as instructed and took Sam's legs while Bobby took his torso. "We've got to get Sam in the Impala, fast."

Dean's stomach turned sour. "What's wrong Bobby?"

"They're coming after Sam."

"Who, demons? Angels? I can fight them. I'm ready."

"No, other hunters. A bunch heard about Sam's end of the world starting mind trick and decided the boy has been too much trouble for too long. He's public enemy number one now. This is the first place they'll check. I've gotta scram too. We have about a fifteen minute head start."

"We can take them on," Dean insisted.

"No, we can't. We don't know the numbers, what we're up against and Sam's too weak. He's a liability right now. So how about less talking and more getting out of here."

Dean realized Bobby was right and helped him lift Sam. Maybe it was his weakened state from the last few days, but Sam felt heavy and Dean fumbled, almost dropping him. He looked up at Bobby's scorn, sheepishly smiled and tried again.

"I don't know how you boys make it on your own," Bobby said as they went through the front door.

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"I'm sorry Dean."

Dean shot awake, for those words were jarring. Maybe because he vividly remembered the last time he heard them, just before Lucifer broke free. He focused his bleary eyes on the shadows in the room, the ones created by the dim light from the motel room window. He jumped when he saw the bed next to his. Sam was sitting upright, legs hanging over the edge. He fumbled for the side table, turning on the light. After he and Sam both adjusted to the brightness, Dean caught Sam looking right at him with coherence.

"Sammy?"

"I'm sorry for not listening to you."

Dean wiped the sleepiness out of his eyes and sat up straight. "I'm not sure what you mean Sam."

"I doubted you and trusted Ruby. You saw right through her all along. She only told me what I wanted to hear. I got too desperate."

Dean was still confused and looked around the room. "Don't you even want to know how we got here?"

"I know there's a good reason. I trust you."

Dean pulled himself out of bed more and sat on the edge facing his brother. Sam's eyes fell to his lap once he did. "Why were you so desperate Sam? Did you need revenge that bad?"

"I was desperate to protect you, to be strong enough for the both of us in saving the world. I really thought I was saving everyone. I was delusional to think any good could come from my abilities. Good can't come from evil."

Dean hesitated, wondering if he should bring this up. He figured now was as good as a time as any. "Sam, the past few days, watching you...anyway, I've had a lot of time to think things through. I found out stuff too, like what you did to that nurse. In putting all the pieces together, something became clear. Did you go into all of this ready to sacrifice yourself?"

"Yes."

Dean was stunned by Sam's quick honesty. Usually he hesitates or avoids such answers. "Why Sam?"

Sam shrugged. "The deeper I got into this and the more I changed inside, there was just no going back. I wanted it to end."

Dean bit the bottom of his lip, for their dad was like that for years. Watching him be reckless like that frightened him. That feeling hadn't changed with Sam. "Don't you see that's where you went wrong? Suicide missions never work. Not only do you get yourself killed, but tons of innocent bystanders as well."

"In this case, about six billion." Sam inhaled a deep breath in distress, but it didn't help. "How could I have been so blind? You know how many innocents are going to die because of me?"

"None if we can prevent it."

"I mean, why do I deserve to live? If I'm not supposed to be dead, then what am I supposed to do? What now Dean?"

Dean got up slowly and sat next to his brother. Dean watched Sam's nervousness, knowing that Sam's new found lucidity was only succeeding in tearing him apart inside. "You know what they say about the blind side of life. All you got to do to get out is open your eyes." Dean wasn't sure if that gave Sam any comfort, but no words likely could at this point.

Sam nodded with apprehension. "Okay." After a short pause, he went on. "Dean, I'm scared."

"Me too."

Sam's shoulders drooped, as if heavy weights were placed on them. "I'm not just scared for myself, I'm scared of hurting more innocent people. I don't trust myself."

"That's what I'm here for, to cover your back."

"You won't always be able to be there. If I'm ever in a situation alone, I know what I have to do."

Dean knew talking sense into Sam was tough. Just like Dad. "Sam, I know this isn't going to shock you, but we're in a huge mess. We don't know what the demons have planned for you, or what the angels have planned for me, but it can't be good. Now hunters are after you and I'm sure a few of them would have no problem taking me out too. Chances are we'll die anyway, but let's do it fighting and together. I don't want to die alone, and you shouldn't either."

Sam's guilty look still lingered. "Yeah, maybe. There's still no good reason why I'm alive right now."

"You better believe there's a good reason. You have the power to stop all the crap that's happening. It wasn't just Ruby that led you down the road. The angels set us up too. Both of us. And Cindy too. We've got to show them they can't play with humans like that. And Cas will help too, if he hasn't been captured by now. Let's not let innocents like Cindy die in vain."

Sam's haggard eyes meet his, showing surprise. "Are you talking about revenge?"

"Maybe. I don't know. I'm just tired of being messed with. It doesn't matter though, for we can't take the world by storm yet."

"Why not?"

"You still look way too much like shit."

Sam smiled and looked at Dean's unshaven face and red eyes. "Right back at ya."

Dean felt relief over that small sign that his brother was getting back to normal. That changed when he heard the doorknob turn. He went for his gun as the door opened.

"Don't shoot ya idgit."

Dean put the gun down and Bobby gave him a fake smile in appreciation. "Good to see you alive and well Sam."

"Thanks Bobby, for everything."

"What's up?" Dean asked.

"A whole mess of demons in Amarillo."

"Somehow there should be a punchline there," Dean joked.

"You up for it Sam?" Bobby asked.

"Definitely," Sam said, rising to his feet. His legs were wobbly though and he lost balance. Dean grabbed his arm to steady him. "I'm not carrying you to the car," Dean declared.

"He's got a couple of days worth of driving to recover. We better get moving," Bobby said, not in the pampering mood.

Sam winced over his aching joints and stiff limbs, accepting his brother's guidance out of the room. "Just wait, in a few days I'll be able to kick your ass."

"I'll never let that happen again," Dean declared as he led Sam toward the Impala. Truth be told, he couldn't wait for Sam to regain his fighting spirit. It would mean he'd have taken that step away from the blind side. He will have opened his eyes.