He doesn't sleep for three days.
Hours spent choking down too strong coffee in twenty-four hour truck stops, trying his best to twitch so much where he can't hitch a ride someplace that's anywhere but here. Choosing to forgo grand theft auto for hitchhiking, easier to stay below the radar now that his part in the apocalypse is (no doubt) being spread amongst the hunters, it looks like he's staying put for the night because the few grizzled old men left in the establishment haven't looked at him twice the entire time he's been here.
Fine, not like he hasn't spent all night in a truck stop before.
Catching sight of himself in a napkin dispenser, dark circles becoming more prominent under his eyes, he reaches out a hand to twist it away.
Deep down he's always known.
For the prince of lies, mixing truth in seems to work that much better.
And maybe that's why he always had a natural aversion to the job, on a subconscious level he'd always suspected somehow, someway, he'd end up on the wrong side of a knife.
The reasons so clear now.
Ava, Jake, and Andy all stand in front of him, the wounds of their deaths still prominent, blank eyes staring forward.
Not a day has passed where he hasn't thought of them, his part in their demise forever etched in his mind.
Lucifer walks idly behind them, tapping each lightly on the head with his hand.
Duck, duck, duck.
"So many plans come to pass to find you Sam, so much work put in, all these children," he says, eyes wandering with nostalgia. "Azazel always did have a sense of humor."
Sam stands statue still, knowing it's a dream, but afraid to even blink.
"Prophecies are fickle things," he goes on. "A lot of patience required. To be honest I'm a little surprised he had the attention span."
Duck, duck, duck.
"Even with our top three contestants, even when Jake here technically won, it just wasn't good enough was it? Pick of the litter Sam my boy. Pick. Of. The. Litter."
Sam swallows audibly.
"Tell me where you are."
Lucifer's eyes turn to meet Sam's, staring right through, a swirling sick feeling forms down in his stomach.
He wakes with start, a waitress' hand slowly shaking his shoulder, an unconcerned face looking down with eyes that say this isn't the first time she's had to wake a vagabond passed out on the counter.
Grabbing his bag from the floor he's out the door without any explanation or prospect of a ride, knowing he has to get as far away from the dream as he can.
A few miles down the road he gets a ride from some elderly couple in an RV, makes up some story about trying to catch a concert out in California, to which they try to relate telling him they were at Woodstock. Sticking with them for a couple hundred miles, he gets out at a gas station somewhere in Nevada, hitching a ride with a good ol' boy heading back to Idaho.
Sam makes small talk about hunting (animals), and a story about meeting up with some buddies in Boise. A salesman in a station wagon, a single mom in an SUV, going any direction they are, never staying in one place. Movement his only defense, constant change his only way of assurance he won't be found, eyes slowly getting heavier with each day passing.
He's not going to last long this way, he knows, but instinct keeps weary feet moving.
Fear keeps his heart pumping.
Yellow-eyes brought him here before.
Moonlight pouring in through the window, slight breeze carried along with it, a crib standing prominent in the middle of the floor.
Soft cooing coming from within, Sam takes a few steps to look down and see himself six months old, the only time in his life he was truly innocent.
"You were never innocent," Lucifer voice comes from behind.
Sam freezes, feeling the angel's presence inch closer, hovering just over his shoulder.
"Even then you were a product of a deal with a demon," he continues, nodding at the infant. "Or did your brother never bother to share that little fact?"
Sam's scowl is a good enough answer for him.
"Of course he didn't. Why do you think that is, because he wants to protect you? He's always saying that isn't he? Like you should be ashamed of what you are, like he actually could do anything about it."
"Really Sam," he continues. "What has he ever done beside keep the truth from you?"
Sam opens his mouth to reply again, stops, no answer clear.
"You're mother was a hunter," Lucifer says. "Did you know that?"
He tries his best not to react but something must show in his face.
"No? Well, she was actually quiet adept at it. A natural, as stories go, but she hated every minute of it. Wanted out so bad she made a deal, all this domestic happiness for one bouncing baby boy."
Hands clenching into fists, "you're lying."
"I said I'd never lie to you."
Sam blinks and suddenly Lucifer is standing mere inches away.
"Tell me where you are."
He manages to stay up for a week.
The world turns into a blur of asphalt, black coffee, and outstretched thumbs. He thinks about calling Dean a hundred times but always puts the phone back in his pocket, knowing they're both better off.
The sky shifts from calm to angry in such frequent cycles he almost expects the clouds to just open up and swallow them all.
He hasn't been picked up in a few days, so much time alone making him nervous, giving his tired mind too much time and opportunity to wander. It had been anger and adrenalin that kept him from swallowing the blood that night; fear that he'd been fair game once hunters realized what he is and what he'd done.
It had taken everything to spit it out, what was left on his tongue so sweet he almost groaned at the loss. He does miss how much easier it was, how he could save people from possession without killing them, how Ruby always…
Shaking his head as if the motion will somehow jostle the thoughts loose, he sighs.
Good intentions, he thinks walking down an endless stretch of road, it doesn't matter where it leads because he knows where it ends.
Dean lies in a hospital bed, another miraculous recovery, reapers pitching a fit that he once again slipped through their fingers. Dad stands next to him with a hand in his shoulder.
He shouldn't know what this looked like, he'd gone to get coffee, and is only aware it even happened because of what Dean told him later.
"You may not have seen it with your own eyes," Lucifer's voice carries over his shoulder. "But I know you've always wondered."
Sam hates the fact that he's right, that he's wanted to know just how the great John Winchester told one of his sons he may have to kill the other. Watching him now, hunched over and whispering into Dean's ear, it looks no different that any other secret he may have shared. No sense of pause or regret in his body language, just plain statement of fact.
Only in that moment does Sam realize that Dad knew, even then with death on his doorstep and a one way ticket to hell in his pocket, he knew Sam would end up on the other side.
"Tragic isn't it?" Lucifer interjects. "A father knowing he must kill the son." He turns to catch Sam's eye. "Yet another thing we have in common."
He wants to scream at the son of a bitch, bang his fists until there is blood. How could he have never said a word, how could he have put that all on Dean?
"Anger's good," Lucifer says casually. "Focused the right way it can hold great power."
"I know what you're doing," Sam replies. "It won't work."
The calm smile on the fallen angel's face unnerves him to no end.
"It will. Eventually."
"I told you I'll never say ye-"
"Sam, Sam, Sam," Lucifer interrupts. "How long to you think you can keep this up? You've slept maybe what? Twelve hours in the last three weeks? You're tired all the time, you're slipping."
"I'm getting bored with this," he says, a hint of menace creeping into his voice. "And I hate repeating myself."
He's in Montana… Or possibly Wyoming. Nebraska maybe? Iowa?
No longer able to tell the difference, the landscape is all so flat, and he hasn't seen a car for hours to be able to tell from a license plate. Running on four days straight this time, back to energy drinks and coffee after the pep pills that trucker gave him made it seem like he was having a heart attack.
An engine roars in the distance somewhere behind, sticking out his thumb without bothering to look, an old pickup pulls over a few feet in front of him. Walking up to the passenger door and looking inside the cab, he freezes when Jo and Ellen stare back at him.
"What are you doing way the hell out here? Ellen asks.
"Not really sure where here is," he replies.
She chuckles and Jo regards him quizzically.
"You getting in or what?"
It only takes a few minutes to realize Jo hates sitting in the middle, the way her arms are crossed and how she seems to shrink in on herself. He leans his head against the window, fighting the urge to close his eyes, the glass cool against his cheek.
"Where's Dean?" Ellen asks.
Jo turns to him at the clipped tone of his voice, her eyes focusing on how worn and weary his face has become, while Ellen just clucks her tongue. He keeps his gaze focused out the window, not knowing if he can hold it together seeing actual concern from another person after all his time alone.
"That have anything to do with what was going on with you boys in Colorado?"
He almost wants to let it coming spilling out right there, all his sins and failures, because he doesn't think he can make it another mile with the weight so heavy on his shoulders. Neither of them say anything, and for a second he thinks they're just letting him have a moment, until he notices how Jo's arm almost brushes his and how quickly she jerks it away.
It's not sitting in the middle that's bothering her; it's sitting so close to him. Ellen's knuckles are white, gripping the steering wheel so tight, eyes locked on the road, never looking in his direction when she speaks.
It hurts a little, the fact that they still picked him up even if it seems they're slightly afraid of him, that they'd still offer a kindness and not a gun pointed at his chest, that they wouldn't leave him wandering along the highway.
He's already planning his escape the next time Ellen plans to stop, knowing that any distance he can put between himself and them would only be returning the favor.
Opening the back door, it's as if he never left, the cookies still waiting for him on the table, the note still making him smile. Walking up the stairs with one in his hand, savoring the semi-sweet goodness, he feels possessed. Screaming inside his own mind not to follow the same path, but his body goes regardless.
The bedroom they shared, the blissful year and half of living together, he doesn't want to be here, doesn't need to see it again. Sitting on the bed counting down the seconds, falling back on the sheets and feeling the familiar drop.
Jess' frozen face above, the angry red gash, a scream escapes.
"You'd been dreaming this for months before," Lucifer says beside him. "And even with all you'd been through, all you'd seen, you never took it with you. Passed it off as a simple nightmare."
"Shut up," Sam retorts.
"Such a pretty girl wasn't she?" Lucifer continues. "Maybe that day at the party where you met you should have listened to your instincts, you should have walked away. She wouldn't be in this position if you'd only done that."
He turns to look at Sam.
"When are you going to realize? Everything you love, everything you touch, will always end up in flames."
"Stop," Sam pleads. "Just make it stop."
"You know how," Lucifer says, folding his hands behind his head. "Tell me where you are."
Sam opens his mouth for one brief second, the temptation to finally put an end to all of this taking over his mind, before the laughter bubbles up.
"What's so funny?" Lucifer wonders aloud.
A solid month with no direction, so many rides and so many turns, never paying the slightest bit attention, he couldn't tell Lucifer how to find him even if he wanted to.
"I don't know," Sam replies, laughing full bore now. "I don't know where I am."
Lucifer only smiles in return, slow and calculating.
"Well aren't you clever."
His head snaps up, face rough against the fallen log he's slumped against, eyes bleary as he looks left to right trying to take stock of his location. It was dark when he stopped and sat down for a second, just to rest his eyes. Though it isn't like sunlight is helping any to figure out where he might be.
Three days since he broke away from Ellen and Jo, two more since he'd slept until now. He sits up and leans against the wood, keeping still for the first time in weeks.
He can't keep running, this he knows, no matter what direction he goes or how far he gets, it's never going to be enough. He longs for something simple, something familiar.
Digging through his pocket, he pulls out the phone and scrolls down the contacts list, hitting dial before he has a chance to change his mind.
He picks up on the third ring, and Sam stares down the road a second plotting his next move before speaking.
"Dean," he says. "Hey."