Hours in the car, seemed like years, now that Lucifer was out. It took too much time to get from one disaster to another. But, when you are the one who let him out of the box, you damn well better be the one at the front of the line, willing to fend off the latest attack by the worst evil imaginable.
What the worst part about being in the car these days was that he had time to think, time to rehash his mistakes, time to consider who he had become, time to consider where the road he was on led, and time to worry…just plain worry.
He chanced a glance at Dean who was gripping the wheel tight, Castiel came and shared in his ominous post-it-note-not-enough-information kinda way that they needed to get their asses to Michigan because "Lucifer is making trouble". Sam almost wanted to yell "No shit Sherlock…glad you figured it out." And since then, Dean had been quiet, and his silence had been steady for the last couple of weeks.
He and Dean had had a chance to talk about everything after his last set of demon blood detox hallucinations passed. (Which had been horrible, a little worse than the first time, two seizures that left him still slightly disoriented at times, he sometimes wondered just how much brain damage he had inflicted upon himself.) They spent hours talking, a couple of those hours yelling, so loud and so hard that Bobby had come into the room and mediated the yelling, forced them into different corners and calmed them both down. Sam was always grateful to have Bobby in their lives, but now, he was practically a God send.
But, ever since that conversation, the brothers were back to being truly OKAY with one another, but Dean still was quieter than he used to be, more subdue, and the silence and the stillness bothered Sam from time to time. It made Sam wonder what was going on in Dean's head. Once upon a time not too terribly long ago, Sam understood every single silence and every single movement his brother made. Now, he couldn't make out anything. He had lost the translation key to his brother's book. Sam wondered if the demon blood had helped that. Maybe if you were part demon you didn't get to be able to know someone inside and out unless you were riding their meat suit. Maybe the demon blood had made him more of a demon than he had originally thought. That led to a whole new set of worries and before he knew it he was chewing on his cuticle again.
"Your hands are going to bleed." Dean said off handedly. "Need them to be in good form Sammy, need to be able to hold a gun without pain."
"Sorry." Sam said and held his hands together in his lap. His leg began to bounce.
"What is your deal today Sam?" Dean asked when he realized that the car was shaking because his brother was shaking it and not because there was something terribly wrong with his baby.
"Nothin'." Sam said and turned to stare out of the window again. Dean sighed.
"We talked about this Sam. We have to talk to each other, we can't keep secrets anymore. Too much shit is going on, and we need to know the score."
"It isn't anything like that Dean."
"Then what the hell is it? It must be bad to have you jittering like some junkie going through withdraw." Dean winced as the words left his mouth. The word junkie was still hard for him to associate with his kid brother.
"Well maybe that's because I am." Sam said with an element of heat.
"I didn't mean…" Dean sighed. "I just don't think about that. I just don't…"
"Think about how your brother turned himself into a monster so he could start the apocalypse, and how he could be jonsing for a hit on some demon blood so he doesn't crack out and try to kill you again? Please, don't tell me that doesn't go through your head all of the time," Sam said with a sigh. "Because God knows it goes through mine."
"Is that what the fidgeting is about? The demon blood addiction? You feelin' bad? Do I need to call Bobby?"
Sam sighed heavily and couldn't force himself to look at his brother. "No. That's not what's got me all jittery." He said and didn't elaborate. Now it was Dean's turn to sigh heavily. Sam didn't like to talk anymore. That was one of the incredibly hard things to adjust to when he got out of the pit. Sam always talked about feelings, always wanted a chick flick moment to make sure that they were okay, that they were still brothers, that everything was just simply okay. But, this past year, nope, no chick flick moments, no tears, no emo Sammy. He used to wish Sammy was like this, used to pray that he wouldn't ask the emotional questions, wouldn't look at him with those puppy dog eyes and ask for truths and answers that Dean wasn't prepared to give, and now, now….Dean Winchester felt like he should be a spokesman for the "Be Careful What you Wish For" club. Or perhaps the president.
"What is it Sam?" He tried again.
Sam snorted a little. "Once, that was my line. I used to be the one to try and weasel information out of you."
"I know. How the mighty have fallen." He mumbled. "What is going on in your head Sammy?"
"Which, for you these days, is dangerous." Sam chanced a glance over at Dean. These days he had a difficult time making eye contact with Dean, Sam was always afraid that they would be black, demon black, and his brother, no matter how much he said that he would take Sam just as he was, would just pull up stakes and run like hell. Sam knew that he would run like hell so he figured his brother would do the same. "Come on Sam." Dean's voice startled him. "We promised no more secrets."
"It's not a secret. Just thinking. Am I not allowed to have private thoughts these days?" He said it before he could think. He said it and it was cold. The demon blood changed him. He wasn't the man he had been before it. No matter how much of a "feather" it was, it still changed him in ways that the feather would never have changed Dumbo. He licked his lips and sighed. "I'm sorry Dean."
"I don't want apologies, I want answers."
"I was just," it hurt to even think it too hard and saying it out loud would probably be like razor blades to his own ears. "I was just wondering what it is like for someone to become a demon."
Dean seemed to take the question in. Sam saw the almost imperceptible frown lines appearing on his brother's forehead. "You're not becoming a demon." Dean said, his voice dark and gruff.
"I'm not so sure of that."
"Come on Dean. How do you know that?"
"Just trust me. I know."
"Now who is the one keeping secrets?"
"You know all of my sins." Dean said finally, and it hit Sam square between the eyes. His brother had begun the process of becoming a demon in hell, he had sped the process along in other souls. Dean knew.
"Then what happens?"
"Dean, I need to know. I need to know what to look out for."
"I'm watching out for you Sammy."
"But, you wont' kill me if I do become one."
"I won't have to kill you, you won't become a demon. I'm not going to let that happen."
"But Dean…what if…what if something happens to you? What if I have to do that all over again. This time, I won't stop, this time I'll…"
"You'll what? Start roaming the earth and start killing people? C'mon Sammy that's just stupid. We've had this conversation before."
"I know. Dean. I'm…I'm just…"
"Thinking that you are becoming a demon."
"Trust me, you aren't." Sam sighed. He wanted to pursue the line of questioning but he knew when his brother was done, when he was going to lock down the mental fortress and not allow even his baby brother inside.
"Demons are born of anger." Dean said after a few minutes of silence. Sam turned and starred at his brother's profile. Amazed that Dean was going to actually answer his question. "Demons are angry because they can't get back at their attackers. They go after humans because they are jealous, jealous that they still have a body, an intact soul. Every demon, at least the ones that I saw in hell, have a general shape of a human being, but there are parts missing, festering sores everywhere, and their bodies and faces are deformed, twisted, into something unnatural. They have no hopes anymore, they just want vengeance."
Sam thought about that last statement. While Dean was gone, that was pretty much how he was. He had no hope, he lost it all when he realized that there was no way in he world he could get his brother out of hell, no potion, no spell, no deal, no ritual. His hope evaporated like demon smoke and left a man broken and bent on revenge and filled with so much anger that it probably radiated off of him like a homing beacon, just providing Ruby with the in to get him to do what she wanted, to get him to make the choices she wanted him to make.
"Then once they are hopeless and driven mad by the torture, they have no hope of escape so the anger builds. When you are the one wielding the razor…" Dean swallowed hard. 'When you are the one looking over them and watching them writhe and scream in pain, it's like a high, you are getting off on their fear, their anger, and then finally their hate." Dean swallowed, and tried to get his breathing back under control. "Their hate for you builds up, and that hate takes them over.." Sam knew what that was like, that boiling hatred that turned your guts into liquid. He had hated Lilith, hated her with a burning fire that threatened to destroy him, and now, listening to Dean, Sam supposed that it did, supposed that it burned away some of his humanity, some of his soul.
"The real fun part, when you are the one doing the torturing, is when you get to tell them that their families, or the people they once loved, never loved them, never wanted them, and were secretly happy they went to hell. That's what usually broke the soul, that is usually what took them over the edge. Because, without love, there is no humanity." Dean said and cleared his throat a sure way to know that he had been uncomfortable with this conversation.
"Did you lose everything down there Dean?"
"Did I lose everything? No. I would have become a demon if I had."
"What kept you going."
"Yeah, hope that you were up here doing what you could do to survive, to be normal, or whatever it is you wanted. Even when I took up that blade, even when I broke, I still had hope that my suffering would allow you to be okay. That you would be safe." Dean paused and they listened to the sounds of the pavement being eaten by the massive car. "So, when I say that you aren't a demon, I'm not kidding Sam. You can't be. You can still love. You still hope, and you still dream." Dean paused again and then sighed. "That enough of a moment for you?" he asked somewhat testily.
"Yeah." He said and the silence continued. Sam still couldn't ignore the darkness he felt just inside of him.