Title: The Sorrowful Dark of Hell
Rating: PG/13
Word Count: (approx) 1,000
Summary: My knee-jerk drabble-tag to 5x22. Warning for spoilers and probably a buttload of mistakes too - written at work on less than 4-hours sleep and a lot of caffine.
A/N: This is for Pussycatbelle. This is rather on the short side, I definitely owe you something longer and maybe if I'm lucky, half as great as you are.

The Sorrowful Dark Of Hell

Lucifer wears Sam Winchester like a finely tailored suit, a perfect fit.

"You're not strong enough to beat me Sam. You're not good enough."

Sam stares out through his eyes and sees his own reflection in the mirror, gazing back at him. His mouth moves, his voice box works but they are not his words.

Not good enough, and this coming from the Devil himself. If Sam had control of his facial muscles, he'd smile. Maybe he'd weep a little too. He's never been good enough, that's always been Sam's problem.

Trapped and screaming, his body under Lucifer's control, Sam thinks of Dean and keeps fighting.

SPNSPNSPN

When Sam fastens his grip, padlock-tight, onto Adam's jacket—like the end of the world depends on it, like this is his chance to pay penance for every single fucked-up mistake he's ever made—and drags Michael down into the hole with him, he's laughing.

Having the last laugh doesn't taste as sweet as it should do.

SPNSPNSPN

The cage doesn't have four-walls. There is no ceiling or floor, no iron bars or shackles. It's a metaphorical cage but it's still a cage, a place built from suffering. A place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. It's hell—and Lucifer is pissed to be home.

Time is immaterial. Pain is everything. That's all there is.

When the pit spits Sam out, he's disoriented and lost, he's hurting and afraid. Standing on a darkened empty stretch of highway that feels familiar even though he could be anywhere. He looks down at his broad hands, sees history in the ridged lines of old scars that crisscross his palms. He flexes his fingers once, twice, sticks his hands into his pockets and beings to walk.

SPNSPNSPN

How he got out, he isn't sure. Does it matter? He's out. The only thing he's sure about is that he is not alone. Something still lingers, slow crawls on hands and knees through his veins, under his skin. He's Sam Winchester but he isn't. Not anymore.

Whatever Sam is now, he still thinks about Dean.

SPNSPNSPN

Dean tracks Sam down in a small motel in Wisconsin.

It takes Sam a moment to realize that it really is Dean framed in the doorway, keys to the Impala jingling as he pockets them. Sam barely sleeps, barely eats. Passing weeks are a tangle of knots, days all squished together. Sunrises and sunsets go by unacknowledged and if the sky is clear and the stars are out, Sam doesn't stop to look at them.

"How?" Sam says, moving away from the door until he's pressed with his back against the wall, tense and rigid. No matter how hard he tries, he can't push himself into it, can't magic himself away and disappear.

Dean walks a small circle around the room, letting his hand lightly touch the weapons laid out on the bed, gaze skimming over the newspaper clippings tacked in neatly ordered lines to the walls. "I told you before, it's my job, Sammy."

He doesn't meet Sam's eyes.

Sam should have guessed that Dean would find him, that the undying bond they share would be too powerful for him to hide away from. "You're still hunting, huh?" Dean says, unfastening his jacket, slow and steady, one button at a time. His hands aren't shaking but his voice is, sure as hellfire.

Sam shrugs, "Not like I'd be much good at anything else." He pauses, stares at the rusted red of dried blood under his fingernails that no amount of cleaning will ever fully take away. "Dean, what about..."

"Lisa?"

"Yeah."

"Turns out, I'm not much good at anything else either." Dean slides his arms out of his jacket, careful, one arm and then the other one. He still won't look at Sam, not directly. "Sammy?" Dean says finally, his jacket a crumpled-up ball in his hands. "That all you in there?" The question is softly spoken and it doesn't sound like Dean's voice. It's not the voice Sam hears inside his head when he thinks about his brother.

"Honestly," Sam sighs deep and swallows, "I don't even know." You should go, get as far away from me as you can. Forget me. Forget I ever existed. Sam tries to say it, he truly does. It's what he needs Dean to do but it's not what he wants.

Dean's jacket hits the floor with a dull thud, he crosses the room until he's standing toe to toe with Sam. Slowly, his eyes lift, travelling upwards from Sam's boots until they come to rest on Sam's face. It's as if he's searching for some flaw, some sign that Sam truly isn't Sam at all. If he finds it, he doesn't give anything away.

That's Dean, always with the poker face.

Time passes but not a second goes by. Dean leans in and takes Sam in a hug, crushes their chests so forcefully together that their bones creak in protest.

"Honestly," Dean says as he takes a small step back, one hand still attached to Sam's shoulder, fingers digging into muscle, green eyes locked on hazel now. "I don't even care."

~end~

Quotes
Matthew 25:30,
Apologia Pro Poemate Meo by Wilfred Owen.

Thanks to everyone who reads, reviews or both. I'm just sorry I'm late responding to reviews on my last fic attempt. Also, this is way too short so something longer will hopefully be on the cards soon.