a/n: I'm back with yet another crazy idea. That's my MO I guess. Actually, I've been bouncing around this one since before the season five premiere. I never quite figured out how I wanted to pull this off until now. There's some major Sam darkness in this one. Sam keeps slipping into a different reality while he and Dean are waiting for Cas to come back from a dangerous mission. Everything takes a turn for the dire when the origin of the intervening creature is discovered.

Takes place after the events in "Lucifer Rising." This is easily my most ambitious fic ever, and it can get quite confusing at times. There's a lot of shifting back and forth between time frames. It all makes sense in the end though! Enjoy!

Like the dust that settles all around me

I must find a new home, home

The ways and holes that used to give me shelter

They're all as one to me now

Oh but I, I would search anywhere

Just to hear your call

Oh walk upon stranger roads than this one

In a world I used to know, yes I miss you more…

Sam shot up, his head blazing as he sat wearily in his bed. He had trouble discerning where he was, but the tacky motel settings let him know it couldn't be all that bad. He grasped onto his temples and moaned, for they throbbed hard enough where his brains felt like they ready to explode. He threw the covers off and swung his legs around, grasping onto the edge of the bed as if it would help with the pain. It didn't. He stared unevenly at the unmade bed next to him and saw the light coming from the bottom of the closed bathroom door. He raised himself up, wincing as he shuffled over to his backpack on the table. Dean came out of the bathroom in time to see Sam dry popping a few aspirin.

"Another one?" Dean asked, watching his brother with concern.

"Same one," Sam said, running his hand through his hair and shuffling into the bathroom. He ran some warm water in the sink and splashed it on his face. It didn't provide the relief he had hoped, so he grabbed a washcloth and wet it down.

"This is getting serious Sam. You haven't slept well in days." Dean didn't expect Sam to answer him, but his concern couldn't go unsaid. Given the intense amount of stress they'd been under lately, Sam's restlessness should be par for the course. The confined quarters wasn't doing much for them either, but Dean's sixth sense told him this wasn't right. This shouldn't be happening to his brother.

"Why are you up so early?" Sam asked, avoiding Dean's obvious statement. He came out of the bathroom with wet washcloth in hand and walked gingerly over to his bed.

"No idea. I think it's due to the 16 hours of sleep a day I've been getting lately."

Sam lay down on his back and placed the washcloth on his forehead. His stiff posture was all the indication needed that he wasn't well. "I can feel you staring at me."

"These are getting worse Sam. More painful."

"Tell me something I don't know."

Dean frowned and sat himself on the couch. He went to put his boots on, and then tossed them aside. There was no point. He turned on the TV, smiling at the selection. "Cable's back."

"Can you turn that down?" Sam said, grabbing the side of his aching head.

Dean leaned back, lowering the volume while thinking things through a little. "I still don't get it. You haven't had visions in years. Why now?"

"I'm not sure they're visions. They could just be bad nightmares," Sam groaned.

"Yeah, repetitive vivid bad dreams complete with brain busting migraines. That's normal. When that happened before, you were having visions. I thought your powers were gone."

"What do you want me to say Dean? I don't know what's happening. We can't do much about it. We're stuck in this room on lockdown."

"I can't take this much longer. Cas knows we won't sit still for long. He's already a day late contacting us. We should go after him or whatever is doing this."

"You break that seal out there protecting us and we could be trapped by the angels forever. He needs to tell us when it's safe."

"It beats sitting in this room forever."

Sam sighed, removed the cloth from his forehead and sat up, rolling his eyes over the rush of pain. "We need to give Cas more time."

Dean grumpily accepted Sam's logic, letting his head fall backward on the top of the couch. "Lucifer contacted you before through a dream. Maybe it's him that's doing this. We should go through your vision again. We're probably missing something."

Sam laid back down. "Dean, please, my head hurts."

"You don't want to talk about the elephant in the room?"

"There's nothing to talk about. I'm strapped to a table in a dark cell. There's no one there and music is playing."

"What kind of music?"

"Prog rock."

"Prog rock? Like who? ELP, King Crimson, Yes?"

"I have no idea who it is. Is it relevant?"

"Yes, it is. There must be a lyric or something, can you remember?"

Sam thought for a second. "I must find a new home."

Dean sat forward, pondering that. "Yeah, that doesn't make a lick of sense."

Sam sighed. "It's out of our hands Dean. Cas put us into hiding for a reason. He's the only one that can help us."

"That's what worries me." Dean picked up the remote and flipped through a few more channels, frowning at each option. He threw the remote down. "I just hate being a sitting duck."

"I know. We just have to wait it out for now."

Dean gazed at his ailing brother skeptically, who gingerly laid back down. "Since when do you want to back down from a fight?"

"Since I started having weirdo visions and was sent into hiding by an angel."

Dean was curious by the tone in that answer. He knew what it meant. "The visions. They scare you."

"I can't explain it, but each time they become more…chilling. I can't shake it either. Each time I get that vision, the feeling of doom gets worse. It's like it's..."

Dean waited impatiently for about two seconds. "…The end."

"I don't know."

Dean shared with Sam a long gaze then nodded and went back to the TV. After a few more channel changes, he found something. The TV announced the marathon would continue after the break.

The Avatar? Sam said. "The world is on the brink of ending and you're watching a cartoon marathon?"

Dean smiled. "Cool huh?"

Sam wanted to shake his head, but even the slightest movement was agony. Within a minute, he was sound asleep.

The dim light hanging overhead was too much as his eyes fluttered open. Even limiting the exposure to a thin slit was overwhelming to his senses. Sam went to lift his arm to protect his weary eyes, but it wouldn't move. Something pinned it down. He noticed his other arm was the same way. His legs too. What's happening? Once his eyes adjusted enough he saw the culprit. He was in full body restraints, on a bed. He was in a small room alone with dark grey walls, a toilet and a sink. The only entrance was closed solid steel door. Is this a cell?

"Hello?" His gruff voice cried. The only sound he heard other than his echo was the melodramatic music playing. He looked around the room for the source, but there were no speakers anywhere. It just came down from the ceiling. What the hell? He looked down at the clean white sheets on his bed and his grey t-shirt and grey pants. "What is this place? Dean?"

He struggled a bit, but as he guessed, the restraints were tight. So tight they pinched. He pulled harder, but only managed to strain his already aching and weak limbs. Why am I so weak? Nothing was clear in his mind. He tried to focus and work through the fog. Then his last moment of clarity punched him in the gut. Lucifer was rising and there was a bright light. What have I done? He couldn't recall what happened after that. After a few minutes, something flashed.

"Sam, how much longer are you going to do this to yourself?"

He didn't answer Dean's question, taking a swig of whiskey instead.

Dean leaned over and grabbed his shirt. "Answer me!"

Through his inconsolable grief he smacked his brother back. "Go away."

"You've got to get over this. I can't find Lucifer by myself."

"I've done enough," he replied, going back to his drink.

"That does it." Dean reached over and pulled him up. "We're going for a ride."

"I'm not going anywhere."

"You leave me no choice Sam. This is beyond me. You need some help."

Sam's heart sunk. Did Dean bring me here? Why am I tied down? What did I do? Suddenly the door opened. In came a woman and a large man dressed in blue scrubs.

"Help me. What's going on?" Sam pleaded, his voice still not right.

They came over to him without answering and the man strapped down his forehead.

"Stop! Tell me what's going on!" Sam's heart raced fast. Even though he didn't understand what was happening, he was scared.

The woman, presumably a nurse, held up a cup of pills, and the man, probably an orderly, grasped Sam's jaws, forcing open his mouth. Sam struggled, unable to speak. The nurse stopped after seeing the intense fright in his eyes. "What the- Wait, he's different."

"It's an act," the man said, griping tighter onto Sam's jaw, so much so it was causing pain.

"I've been treating him for six months. I tell you, he's different."

Six months? Sam tried to say something, but nothing coherent came out because of the man's grip.

"I've got to get Dr. Swanson," the nurse said.

"You're not going to medicate him first?"

"I don't want to give anti-psychotics to a man out of psychosis. Let the doctor decide."

The man let go with a sharp push and followed the woman out the room without loosening any restraints, even the head one. Sam wiggled hard out of frustration, but there wasn't any room for movement. "Tell me what's going on! Why am I here?!" The door slammed without an answer.

"Where's Dean?!"

Sam wasn't sure how long he had been left alone, but it seemed like hours. The room he was in didn't have a clock - or a window. The steel door had a slot but it was closed. He didn't know if it was day or night. He just wanted answers. His body ached something awful and his discomfort was somewhat maddening, but after yelling for someone for a while he had to stop. He'd gone hoarse.

Than the sun reflecting off my pillow

Bringing the warmth of new life

And the sounds that echoed all around me

I caught a glimpse of in the night

But now, now I've lost everything

I give to you my soul

The meaning of all that I believed before

Escapes me in this world of none, no thing, no one

The music suddenly started playing again, and once again the source was lost on him other than an empty ceiling. It wasn't like he could move or lift his head to investigate though. "Please, if anyone is there. I just want to know what's going on." Was music actually playing, or was it all in his head. Why did all his senses believe something was there?

His attention turned to banging on the door. He saw the shadows on the ceiling change as the door opened. From the corner of his eyes he could see an averaged sized man in a white coat approach him along with the goon from earlier.

"Would somebody answer me? Why am I here?" Sam looked up at the complacent doctor who scanned through a chart and wouldn't give him eye contact.

"Answer me!" Sam yelled.

The doctor scoffed and put down his folder, giving Sam his full attention. "You know why Sam."

"Look, I woke up and I'm strapped to a table. I don't know how I got here or why. What is going on?"

The doctor looked at him with uncertainty. "The nurse said you were acting different, but I didn't believe her. After all, why would you have a sudden breakthrough?"

"I don't know what you're talking about. Where is my brother?"

The doctor stared at Sam rather baffled. "I've never seen anything like this before."

Sam fought against the binding some more, knowing it was pointless. He hated feeling trapped and alone and his inner frustration wouldn't let him quit. "Please tell me why I'm here and where here is."

"What's the last thing you remember?"

"I'm not telling you anything unless you answer me."

The doctor nodded. "Dean's fine. You should be worried about yourself."

Sam wasn't getting it. "Why are you keeping me here?"

The doctor examined Sam earnestly, finally coming around. "You really don't remember anything, do you? You're at the Greenville Security Housing Unit."

"The what?"

The doctor gave him another skeptical glare. "Sam, you're in an institution."

"I could see that. What kind of institution would do this to someone?"

"This is a maximum security wing for the criminally insane. The absolute worst and most dangerous offenders are sent here."

Sam's face froze over the news. He was more confused than ever. "You're lying."

"Why would I do that Sam? All I've ever done is try to help you."

"Help me?" Sam pulled at his restraints. "Tying me down and forcing medication down my throat is a funny way of showing help."

"Necessary treatment options Sam. You're having a rather pronounced psychotic break."

Sam didn't understand what he was saying. This had to be some kind of nightmare. Dean wouldn't let this happen to him. Dean must be…he didn't want to think the worst.

The doctor looked at Sam, definitely confused by what he was seeing. "I'm prescribing a sedative for you Sam. You need some rest. We'll cover everything once you've had a chance to absorb the shock."

"No, please. Please tell me, where is my brother?"

"I don't know where Dean is."

"Is he alive?"

"As far as I know. I haven't seen him since he put you in here."

Sam didn't want to believe it. "He wouldn't do this to me."

"Your brother took you to a hospital after you got too violent. You were admitted for severe depression. That's when you confessed about a murdering a nurse in Maryland. That uncovered all your other heinous crimes too. All this for a man that was supposedly killed while in custody in Colorado. That's quite a way to fake your own death Mr. Winchester."

"No, I didn't murder anyone. I was trying to save people."

"You're a very violent man Mr. Winchester. Way too dangerous for society."

Sam still couldn't grasp what he was being told. Was this really a prison?

The doctor continued. "When they figured out Dean was alive as well, he unveiled you as the mastermind. He told the court you'd become an unrecognizable monster."

"No," Sam said, in complete denial. "He wouldn't do that. I need to talk to him."

"He's pretty angry at you Sam."

Sam felt his stomach turn, so much he thought he was going to be sick. It all made sense. He started the apocalypse. Since Dean couldn't keep him in the panic room, maybe he did send him someplace worse. Someplace where he could never hurt another soul. It seemed harsh, but maybe Dean had no choice. He couldn't remember though. Did he have a major break? Did he really lose his mind?

"Last I heard Dean is living his life somewhere, free of all charges that were against him."

"You gotta find him for me."

"Dean made it very clear he never wants to see you again. Chances of you seeing anyone from the outside are slim to none. As a matter of fact, you're not supposed to ever leave this room."

"I need to get hold of my uncle then."

The psychiatrist checked the record. "No other family listed."

"Bobby Singer, he lives in South Dakota."

"No, Dean is your only listed family member alive. He said you were a loner."

Sam took this all in, trying like mad to grasp it all. He remembered telling Dean he was sorry. It mustn't have been enough. "What about the apocalypse?"

"The one you said you started when you were tricked into freeing Lucifer?"

Sam grimaced, unable to give a straight answer.

"Last I checked, the world was still short four horsemen and the oceans are still normal temperature."

"Have there been any signs, anyone with dark eyes coming to see me?"

The doctor shook his head. "The only inquiries I get about you are from the ones that want to see you fry."


"You're a national celebrity you know. Serial killer extraordinaire. You don't know how many families are petitioning for lethal injection. I was talking to the mother of Meg Masters this morning."

"I didn't kill her."

"No? A video from a warehouse in Chicago shows you pushing her out a window. The autopsy confirmed those injuries were fatal."

"Demons did that."

"That's why you've been labeled criminally insane. The demons made you do it a lot. Did the demons help you kill Wendy Weaver?"


"A brunette woman who went missing about a year ago after miraculously waking from a coma as a Jane Doe. She was found stabbed to death in Maryland too, your DNA all over the body."

Sam closed his eyes, not believing that this was happening. "I can explain this."

"Then there's the bodies found in Illinois. The most intriguing is Mrs. Stacy Ingall from Pontiac. This young woman was found dead of a stab wound in an abandoned warehouse, her blood mostly sucked out through a neck wound. Same as Cindy McKellan, the missing nurse. These are the ones we know about, not to mention the crimes in St. Louis, Baltimore, and Milwaukee. You really got around, didn't you?"

"I suppose asking for a lawyer won't help me."

"You had a great lawyer. She was able to convince one very tough court that you were unfit to stand trial. Of course you were, but it's hard to sell it to those guys. They really wanted you dead."

Sam tugged at the restraints, the despair rising enough where he felt a burning in his throat. Death would have been better than this. "Please, you've got to find my brother."

"No, you won't be seeing anyone for a while." The doctor motioned to the orderly, who nodded and stepped outside the cell. "Like I said Sam, coming out of psychosis can be quite traumatic. We'll discuss this later." A nurse came in with a needle.

Sam resisted harder. "You can't keep me like this. I have rights."

"You lost your rights the second you were declared criminally insane. All decisions regarding your care fall on me now since your brother relinquished them."

"I need to see Dean!" Sam felt the gloved fingers pressing at his vein. "Don't, don't do this."

"Pleasant dreams Sam."

"Wait, can you at least tell me where the music is coming from?"

The doctor froze and signaled to the nurse to wait. "You're hearing music?"

"Yeah, don't you hear it?"

The doctor looked concerned. "No Sam, there's no music." He nodded and the nurse proceeded. Sam felt the sharp prick go into his arm. As the world got fuzzy he saw standing in the corner a beautiful woman with long blonde hair in a flowing red dress.

"Sleep Sam," she said before he slipped into unconsciousness.

"Oh, thank God!" Dean came over to Sam's side when he started stirring.

Sam shook himself out of his disorientation and looked at Dean strangely. "I'm fine. I just fell asleep."

"Fell asleep? I tried waking you and you wouldn't come around. You scared the crap out of me man."

"I was really tired." Sam sat up, feeling the pain in his head. "It wasn't good rest. I had a really bad dream." Sam saw it was still light outside. "I wasn't out that long."

"Not out that long? You've got to be kidding me."

Sam looked at the time. "It's only 10:00. I've only been out two hours."

"Sam, you've been asleep for the last 26 hours."

a/n: Oh, it feels so good to be writing a fic again. Anyone want more?