A/N Thanks so much to everyone who reviewed! All your comments truly made me giddy with happiness. Here's the next chapter. Still don't know where I'm going with this but I've got a vague idea now. Anyhoo, I hope y'all enjoy the next installment!
Sam opened his eyes, his head pounding. He didn't realize that he had passed out but he must've because light seeped in through the cracks and holes in the dilapidated ceiling of the old convent indicating that it was daytime. It had been dark when he killed Lilith, when he unwittingly raised Lucifer when Dean…
"Dean?" he called out, "Dean!"
His heart heavy and his body aching Sam slowly pushed himself to his feet and stumbled against the fragile walls, using them for support. For the most part he ignored his own injuries as he limped brokenly towards the sanctuary where it all happened, where Lucifer or whatever that thing was, had taken Dean. He could feel tears welling up in his eyes because deep in his heart he knew he wouldn't find his brother alive. How could he be? He looked at the palm of his hand and the red, raised skin. Just touching that black thing had seared the flesh of his palm, and Dean had been impaled by it. He could only imagine what kind of damage…
He shook his head, refusing to accept the very likely scenario that Dean was dead…again. Not until he knew for sure.
Sam struggled to focus as he made his slow trek down the corridor, stumbling over fallen debris, climbing over a section of wall that had fallen. He peered into the ruins of the sanctuary. It was a mess. Piles of debris littered the floor, Ruby's body laid bloody in a crumpled heap on the floor, shock and betrayal in her cold dead eyes. Lilith's body was gone, somehow vanished along with Lucifer and Dean. Beams of light shone down on the broken altar, like a dusty spotlight on center stage.
He blinked wearily and for a moment he could see his brother lying on the altar, unconscious, illuminated by the sunlight that seeped through the cracks on the ceiling. It was as though the heavens had opened up to shine upon some divine sacrifice. He was flat on his back, his head dangling awkwardly over the edge, and his arm hung limply over the side, blood trickled in a steady stream to form a pool of blood on the dirty floor. He was bruised, bloody and ghastly pale. He looked like he had been carelessly dropped on the altar from a great height, and he looked like he was dead, until he suddenly opened his eyes and stared at Sam through dull, weary, heavy lidded eyes as his bloodied lips moved silently.
"Dean!" Sam cried, racing blindly to reach him, putting one foot in front of the other, not caring how much it hurt his wrenched ankle. He had to get to his brother, nothing else mattered.
The voice in his head sounded so much like Dean and it sounded like he was right behind him. Startled he stopped dead in his tracks and spun around to meet the voice only to find that no one was there. When he turned around again the altar was empty, Dean's body was gone, vanished like it had never been there, and at the base of the altar, the very spot where Lilith's blood had gathered and Lucifer made an appearance was a deep hole. Had he taken one more step, he would've fallen to his death. He breathed an involuntary sigh of relief because it was close, too close. He couldn't help his brother or fix his mistakes if he went and killed himself.
The hole was about six feet wide, and it was deep. Looking down into the hole all Sam could see was an endless darkness and there was no way of knowing how deep it was.
"Dean? You down there?" Sam called stupidly, knowing that even if his brother was alive and lying at the bottom, he doubted Dean would be able to answer, or that he was even conscious. If Dean were still somehow alive, he'd be badly hurt. But Sam had to call for him, because it gave him a false sense of security in believing that there was hope for his brother.
Sam was met with silence and a slight echo of his own voice.
The hole reeked strongly of sulfur and it made Sam gag. But the smell wasn't surprising considering all that had happened, and that was the very spot where happened, where Sam had turned the key and lock and opened the door to set Lucifer free. Just looking at the hole, the endless void that sank deep into the earth gave Sam chills. Wanting to get an idea of its depth Sam grabbed a stone and dropped it, waiting for the inevitable sound of it hitting the bottom.
The sound never came. He was standing next to a seemingly bottomless pit, as impossible as it was. He moved as close to the edge as he dared and stared into the black heart of the abyss his eyes going in and out of focus as he unconsciously held his breath. Not to long ago, that hole had been a portal, a doorway between Hell and Earth.
The darkness beckoned him to come closer, tempting him to take another step forward and he found himself leaning as though there was a magnetic pull from somewhere deep within the abyss threatening to drag him down. His imagination conjured up images of demons in their true form, camouflaged by the blackness reaching for him and he could've sworn he heard inaudible whispers coming from the chasm's seemingly infinite depth.
A cold chill wrapped around him, caressing his bloody and aching body, promising him release, redemption. Promising to give him back his brother. He just needed to take the plunge, let go and embrace the darkness. Just one step, that was all he needed and it would all be over. Just one step…
It was surreal, like he was watching himself from a distance, but not and even though he knew taking one more step forward would lead to his death, his body moved on its own accord as his foot lifted from the ground to hover over the abyss. Releasing the breath he had been holding he started forward when suddenly he could hear Dean's voice in his head, Stop! and he snapped out of it. Reality came crashing down on him once more and breathing heavily he shuffled back in a panic. What the fuck are you doing!
Scrambling away from the hole his injured ankle gave way and he collapsed to the floor but continued his retreat in an awkward crab-like shuffle until he was pressed safely against the broken wall. He took in deep breaths, trying to keep from hyperventilating as the previous night's events replayed in his head, like a movie stuck in fast forward.
How could he have been so fucking blind? Lucifer had been set free and it was all his fault and now Dean was… dead most likely, but Sam forced the notion aside, because it was one thing to damn the world, but to kill his brother? Because if Lucifer killed Dean… well Sam was the one who set the wheel in motion so it may as well have been him to pull the trigger. He would be just as guilty.
No, no way, never. I could never do that. He's just missing. Missing he could deal with, it meant that there was still hope.
All he could think about was how the world was screwed and it was his fault and now the one he believed could stop it all was MIA… not dead, missing, because Dean couldn't be dead. He was missing, and hurt and… he had to find him. That was all. He needed to find him, save him because he needed him. The world needed him. He couldn't be dead.
"Castiel!" he called out, knowing he didn't deserve to have the angel come, but he needed help. Dean needed help. And Sam didn't know what to do to save him. "Castiel! Please I know I don't have a right to ask, but I need your help! Please!"
He called out for the angel; he got down on his knees and prayed for the angel to come. He begged and pleaded and screamed and cursed because damn it this was Dean, and didn't they need him? Wasn't Dean supposed to be their chosen one? Wasn't he entitled to having the angel watch his back? After all they put them—him—through, didn't they owe it to him?
I don't serve man, and I certainly don't serve you.
That was the last thing he heard Castiel say to Dean, and the instant he remembered, Sam's heart sank. Maybe because Dean failed to stop Sam they figured he deserved to be forsaken in his time of need. Maybe they saw no need to protect him—not that they were doing a good job in the first place.
But it wasn't Dean's fault. He tried his best to stop Sam from killing Lilith and starting the fucking apocalypse. Sam didn't realize it then, but he could see now that Dean was right to lock him up, he was right to call him a monster, and thinking back to that horrible fight, Sam could see how much it had pained his brother to say it. But Sam had egged him on, practically forced him to call him a monster. And he was right—Sam was a monster.
Dean tried to stop Sam, he tried his best and Sam nearly choked him to death for the effort. He didn't deserve to be dragged off by Lucifer just because he failed to stop Sam.
"Castiel! You fucking bastard please! It was my fault, not Dean's! Please help me find him! Please help me save him and then you can do what you want with me, kill me, smite me, send me to Hell where I belong but just… for fucks sake help me find Dean so I can make things right! Please!"
Through teary eyes Sam saw Ruby's body and his eyes narrowed. She was the monster. Dean was right to try and kill her, and Sam should've held her then, back at the honeymoon suite, and let him kill her then, not defend her like her fucking knight in shining armor.
Too little too late. Story of Sam's life. Too little, too late.
Wearily, Sam wiped his eyes and pulled out his cell phone to dial Bobby. He doubted Bobby would be willing to answer, after everything Sam did, why should he bother to give Sam the time of day? But he didn't know who else to call. Sam was truly and utterly alone in the world and Sam had no one to blame but himself.
No, Sam. Ruby. It's Ruby's fault.
Startled, Sam frantically looked around again because the voice sounded like Dean, like he was right behind him. But there was no one there.
A normal person, someone who was completely ignorant to the supernatural might've brushed the voice off as nothing more than their imagination. But this was the third time he heard it and Sam had been trained since he was a child not to ignore something like that even though he was almost certain that the voice was wishful thinking. That his guilt and grief conjured up the voice in order to provide his denial with false hope.
"Dean?" Sam whispered, his breath hitching at the thought that what if it wasn't his imagination? What if the voice was real and Dean was dead and now his spirit was trapped among the ruins?
He took a deep shuddering breath. No, Dean wasn't dead. The world needed him too much for him to die. Sam shook his head in denial and decided that he'll call Bobby, he'll go crawling back to the old man on his hands and knees and beg for a forgiveness he didn't deserve and together they'll figure out what to do. Bobby most likely wouldn't want to talk to Sam after everything he had done, after his betrayal, but Bobby would do anything to help Dean. He'd do it for Dean.
Sam scrolled his list and highlighted Bobby's name and hit 'talk'. Bobby's name was the third one down, after Dean and Ruby. He felt a pit at the bottom of his stomach at the sight of Ruby's name. It was at the top of his list, and looking at it was like a slap in the face. Ruby's name had been first, before Dean, before Bobby, before everyone. She betrayed them all and he was the fool who trusted her. She had him wrapped around her little finger.
Sam was certain that Bobby wouldn't answer once he saw Sam's name on the display, certain that he'd have to leave a few pleading and desperate messages on his voicemail first but to his surprise Bobby answered on the first ring.
"Sam!" he exclaimed, "Damn boy! What the hell happened? Did Dean find you? I was talking to him and then he vanished courtesy the angel express I imagine. Did you kill Lilith?"
"Hey Bobby," Sam said weakly, unable to comprehend the love and concern in Bobby's voice. Weakness overwhelmed him and, still on his knees he sank further to the uneven and broken ground, his injuries making themselves known with a vengeance. His head, throbbing and spinning, forced him to swallow hard and close his eyes and he shook with emotion.
"Sam? You OK?"
"Bobby, I'm so sorry. I screwed up, I don't know how you could possibly forgive me I…"
"Damn right you screwed up boy, but don't worry about that now. Are you OK? What happened? Is Dean with you?"
"No," he whispered brokenly, his whole body shaking and trembling in the weakness of early withdrawal. "He's gone."
"Gone? What do you mean gone?"
"I know I don't deserve it, but I need your help Bobby, please, please come. I don't know what to do."
"Take it easy Sam," Bobby said calmly, "It'll be OK."
"No," he murmured faintly, "It won't, and it's all my fault."
He closed his eyes and his quaking body went limp and he slipped into unconsciousness, completely oblivious to the worried sound of Bobby calling his name coming through the receiver of his phone.
Thanks for reading, now please review. All comments and criticisms, good and bad are welcomed, craved even and definitely will motivate my muse.