Not again, not again, not again. . . drums in a steady rhythmn inside Sam Winchester's head. He closed his eyes in defense against the illusions-they had to be illusions-playing out in front of his very eyes.

Jess, Dad, Bobby, Ellen, and Jo were killed repeatedly in that motel room. This was the psychological torture regime that Lucifer was keeping up. First, it had been physical pain.

Fingernails torn off then followed by finger and toes and then eventually limbs. Organs ripped to shreds in an instant, diseases ravaging his body in an acceled pace, blood boiling. . .Sam had been through it all. He knew what Hell was all about now. Sam was terrified after thinking about what the pain meant. Dean had inflicted that same pain after being tormented with it for forty years. Dean, the same person that had raised him into the person he was that day.

As if on cue, Dean appeared in the motel room above Sam. His eyes were a sad emerald which broke Sam's heart when he saw them. He had never seen more despair in a person than then. To make matters worse for his psychologically damaged self, it was his brother in that despair.

"Hey Sammy," Dean said tiredly, "Can you hold on any longer?" his lips curled into a sadistic smile at Sam's exhausted sigh, "I thought not. You've always been the weakling, the wimp. You're useless, Sam. Fucking Ruby, drinking demon blood, getting Jess killed, starting the Apocalypse-what's the use of any of that? You don't deserve to be alive."

"Then kill me," Sam rasped, bowing his chuckled darkly and leaned in to where the brothers were face-to-face, "See, that's the funny part. If I kill you, I'll just drag you back out of Hell to start all over again."

Then Dean's hand lashed out and caught him by the throat, gripping him tightly, "But if you insist. . ."

Sam writhed in Dean's hold until the oxygen was depleted and his vision began to fade. His eyes were beginning to bug out a little, he could feel and the only thing he could focus on was Dean's throat across from his. Then out of nowhere, a blade stuck out of Dean's throat. Then Sam's vision went dark and he swam away to a place Lucifer couldn't reach.


The first thing Sam felt was a rough hand gently moving his bangs out of his face. Then he felt his sore throat and winced, choking on a wracking cough. The hand immediately halted and was followed by a familiar voice, "Sammy?"

Not again, please, not again. . .

Sam opened his eyes and a hoarse scream raised from the bottom of his lungs, "NO!"

He ripped himself away from the form of Dean Winchester leaning over him on the bed he was laying on. With wild, frantic eyes, Sam scurried off of the bed, "No, not again. You can't-I won't let you-don't-!"

"Sam!" Dean started toward him, holding his hands up in surrender, "I'm not going to hurt you. It's me, Dean."

"That's what you said the other hundred times," Sam could feel the tears pelting down his face at that point, "Leave me alone, leave me ALONE!"

Dean stopped in his tracks, "Sam. It's me. It's really me."

"No, it's just Lucifer, just Lucifer again," Sam said partially to himself in panic.

Then he began to cough hard from the damage to his throat. He sank to his knees on the floor and Dean slowly came to squat in front of him.

"I'll do anything to prove to you that I'm not the devil, but you probably won't believe me after what you've been through," Dean told Sam steadily even though the concern was thick in his voice, "But I'm sorry that I didn't get here sooner."

Sam moaned, holding his head in his hands and pitched forward. Dean sat on the floor and caught Sam. Wordlessly, Dean wrapped his arms around Sam and sat there just holding him as the sobs and coughs tore through his little brother.