"Dean. Wake up you jerk." Dean awoke to someone pulling at his left arm, much as Sam had done most of his life, and his eyes slowly opened. He had asked Cass for just a little sleep. Not a lot of sleep, just a little sleep. Why couldn't he just accept the fact that he needed time to recharge his batteries?
"What? The apocalypse can wait just a few more hours. Just a few more hours." He mumbled. The tugging at his arm grew more intense.
"Dean!" The voice said in exasperation. "Get up. I need you to get up." Dean's sleep addled brain seemed to connect the voice to his brother, but it didn't sound like Sam. Sam's voice had a deep timbre and resonated. This was a thinner, whinier sound. He opened his eyes fully and turned towards his left and found a ten year old standing next to the bed, in a ripped tee shirt, and sweat pants, looking scared and frazzled.
"Sam?" he asked.
"Dean. Scoot over, let me in."
"What?" Dean asked again and saw the look of fear in his little brother's eyes. Dean automatically scooted his thirty year old body over and allowed the ten year old inside his covers. The ten year old curled up against his side, much as he had all of those years ago, before Stanford, before losing Dad, before losing Jessica, before dying and being resurrected, before hell, before demon blood, before everything.
"What's the matter Sammy?"
"I'm scared everything is going to go bad."
"I don't understand."
"It's out there, it's coming to get me Dean. It wants me. I don't know what to do. I'm scared. And you are supposed to protect me."
"I can't protect you from everything Sammy."
"You have to protect me from this. You promised Dean. You promised that as long as you were around that I would be fine. I'm not fine. I'm alone and I'm scared."
"It's for the best Sammy."
"How can it be for the best Dean? They are going to get me. Use me. Worse than they already have. They are going to hurt me Dean. You're the only one who can stop it, make it better."
"Sam, there are a lot of people counting on me. I can't just focus on you anymore. The world is at stake, it needs me more than you need me."
"Dean," The ten year old version of Sam looked up at Dean and his eyes were full of tears. "You promised you'd save me."
"I can't save you Sammy. I tried to save you. You wouldn't let me."
"I'll let you now, I promise. I promise. Please. You have to come and get me. I'm so scared. I don't know what to do. You'll know how to fix it. I just need you to come and get me, protect me. He wants me. He wants me Dean. I can't let him have me."
"Who wants you Sammy?"
"Lucifer. He wants me….he wants to use me like Michael wants to use you. You have to stop him. You have to save me or kill me trying. Please Dean, you can't let me become that." The big hazel eyes that used to make Dean want to move heaven and hell were starring at him, and for the first time in weeks he felt that stirring in his stomach, felt the panic surge in his throat, his little brother was crying, pleading for his help. His big brother senses were awakening again, after being buried and deadened by tragedy and betrayal.
"I don't know if I can Sammy."
"I know you don't trust me…but that doesn't' mean you don't love me….does it?" Dean swallowed hard. It was harder to lie to the ten year old version of Sam, who was all raw emotion, and childlike innocence. It was hard to look this boy in the face and say that they were better off apart, that for the first time in his life he didn't feel chained to his family, because he didn't, not really. He was just angry, and tired, and frustrated, and betrayed. Sam had chosen a demon over him. He trusted a hell bitch more than he trusted his own brother, and that stung. And since then Dean had said a lot of things trying to hurt Sam as much as Sam had hurt him. But now, cuddled with his ten year old frightened brother, he was reminded of who his brother was.
"You don't love me anymore?" the mini Sam whispered and tried to rub the tears from his eyes, but they continued to flow down his face despite his efforts.
"I love you Sam."
"Then…then why won't you save me from Lucifer?"
"I don't know if I'm strong enough."
"You're strong enough to do anything Dean, you're my big brother, you can do anything."
"But the devil, I don't know Sammy. If you say yes, there isn't anything I can do."
"You can kill me." The ten year old said more soberly than Dean would have ever been able to say it.
"I can't do that either Sammy. I've spent my whole life sacrificing to keep you alive, I couldn't take your life. I couldn't do that."
"But, if it saves me….then…why not?" Innocent hazel starred into jaded green.
"Because, I can't Sammy."
"Then please come get me, save me. Please Dean. Please." The ten year old wrapped his arms around his brother and sobbed. "I'm so scared Dean. Please." Dean returned the hug and his own eyes started to sting.
"I don't know if I can Sammy. I don't know."
"Please try." He pleaded. "Please." The protective wall around Dean's heart shattered with the thin, weak plea and his jaw clenched and his eyes squeezed shut, and he held his little brother tight.
"Okay Sammy. I'll try to save you." He whispered. The little boy sat up and wiped his eyes.
"I knew you would Dean. You're my brother. That's what you do. Please. Go get me. I'm in the motel room alone and scared. Please make it better."
"Okay Sammy." His eyes snapped open and he heard the tell tale sound of angel wings flapping in the air and he sat up, grabbed his phone, and dialed Sam's number.
"Dean?" Dean heard the thin thread of fear lacing his brother's voice.
"Sammy? You okay?" There was a pause on the other end of the line. "Sammy?"
"No." Another pause. "No. I'm not okay. I'm Lucifer's true vessel."
"Where are you?"
"I can be there by tomorrow morning. Will you be okay until then?"
"But…but…I'm a danger…I shouldn't be hunting. I shouldn't' be anywhere near you. I don't want Lucifer…"
"Sam it's okay."
"Everyone around me dies." He reminded Dean. "They die because I'm weak."
"I'm not everyone Sam, and I'm not weak." Sam swallowed on the other end.
"You're on your way?" Sam asked quietly.
"Just pulled on my jeans. I'll be there Sammy."
"You're my brother." And the phone clicked off. Sam turned off his own phone and sank into the bed, relief spreading throughout his body like a frost. Everything would be okay. Dean was coming. He would protect them. He would know what to do. He would save him, even if it meant destroying him.