Disclaimer: I don't own any recognizable characters

A/N: I wrote this for the Sam celebration at the summer_sam_love comm on LiveJournal. I want to thank Faye Dartmouth for helping me and betaing this fic. Since the celebration this year revolves around choosing an episode, I chose 5.03 Free To Be You And Me.

On to the story...

Myself and I

When Sam first arrived in Garber, Oklahoma, he knew that in order to survive and be strong, he would have to manhandle the Sammy part of his psyche into the deepest corner that existed in him. Sammy still wanted his big brother, Dean, to save him and to be there for him and Sam knew that Dean just couldn't do that right now.

So Sam set out to bury Sammy so deep that he almost forgot that he was once another person, was once a hunter, and most importantly was once a little brother to one of the most awesome big brothers who ever existed. It helped when he burned all his fake IDs and credit cards because then there wouldn't be a reminder of who he had been.

Sam quickly found a job at a local bar where he worked as a busboy. Since using a different name from his own was a habit, he went by the name of Keith McLean. He thought that Dean would appreciate the name he chose.

The work suited Sam just fine. The busy hours tending the bar kept his mind off of things and gave him focus—especially when trying to keep Sammy buried deep.

Once or twice, Sam got a jolt when he spotted a patron who had a similar profile as Dean. Immediately Sam's thoughts turned to Dean, and Sammy crept up to the surface of Sam's consciousness and a feeling of longing went down Sam's spine. Those were the times when both parts of Sam missed Dean desperately.

Working at the bar didn't have the thrill of hunting, but for Sam, having times when there wasn't much to do during a work day was refreshing. Sam never thought about how stressful hunting could be—even though Keith McLean was just a busboy and worked hard, he still was more relaxed and happier than Sam Winchester could ever be.

During these quiet times, Sam chatted with Mick, the bartender, and he also got to know Lindsey who was one of the few waitresses whom Mick had employed.

To Sam's amusement, Lindsey thought that he was extremely mysterious and was constantly trying to figure out his big secret. She thought he was playing coy to her flirting. She couldn't know that he just didn't want to admit out loud to the terrible things he'd done.

A week after Sam had started working at the bar, Lindsey challenged him to a game of darts.

Lindsey grinned at him and asked. "Hey Keith, you play?"

Both Sam and Sammy were intrigued by Lindsey's not so subtle attempt to get him distracted and therefore more likely to reveal details about his life.

"That depends. What are we playing for?" Sam asked seriously.

As he approached the table with the darts, Lindsey answered, "World peace."

Picking up a couple of darts, Sam smiled. Lindsey was turning out to be very interesting and entertaining. She reminded him a bit of Dean as well as Jessica. At the thought of Jessica, the Sammy part of Sam's psyche winced a little in pain. He hadn't thought of her much the last few years. He'd been too busy destroying the world to think about how she had been the first victim in his own personal war.

Sighing, Sam turned to Lindsey and replied, "Oh is that all?"

Lindsey glanced at him, grinned and threw her dart at the board hanging on the wall. It landed fairly close to the bull's eye.

Proud of herself, she turned to Sam. "Now it's your turn."

As Sam prepared to throw his dart, Lindsey interrupted.

"Let's make a real bet. If I win, you buy me dinner and tell me your life story."

Sam lowered his arm and looked at her. Since he was a kid, he could throw all the darts straight into the bull's eye so he wasn't worried of about losing. Darts was a favorite brotherly pastime for Dean and him. Playing darts with someone else would be weird at first, but then Sam never backed down from a challenge and he wasn't going to start now.

He nodded at Lindsey. "Okay, sounds fair."

As Sam resumed his stance and aimed his first dart at the board, Mick had turned up the volume of the TV. The local news anchor was heard clearly saying, "…Spring hail, lightning strikes, and now fire—"

Sam quickly threw the two darts he was holding, both hitting the center of the bull's eye as he turned towards the bar and the news report.

As Sam watched the newscast with growing horror, he knew that he couldn't just forget it. He would do the research and confirm the sightings. Even if he couldn't hunt, then at the very least, he was obligated to notify a hunter.

-o-

Later that evening, after doing research and confirming that what was happening in the surrounding towns was a result of the apocalypse, Sam sat gazing at his laptop. He knew that there was no way that he could go deal with it, but he also knew that he couldn't just leave it alone. He needed to let another hunter know.

Dean, came a whisper from Sammy. He can help.

Yeah, Dean would be able to help or at least tell Sam to call Bobby to send other hunters to deal with the situation. But Sam hesitated because he honestly didn't know how Dean would react to a phone call from him. The last time they were together, sitting at the picnic table, Dean had made it pretty clear. He didn't trust Sam. He probably didn't even like Sam. They were better off apart. After Sam got up from the bench and started to walk away from Dean, there had been no long goodbyes, no call-me-when-you-get-settled. Just a bittersweet parting of ways that Dean probably thought was long overdue.

Ignoring Sammy's plea to call Dean, Sam picked up his cell and dialed Bobby's number.
Twenty minutes later, Sam had gotten off the phone after talking to Bobby. Talking to Bobby was painful since it reminded Sam about Dean and hunting.

Sammy sent a sympathetic vibe through Sam's consciousness. Even though Sammy really did want to be back with Dean and by extension Bobby—nonetheless Sammy understood where Sam was coming from. Sammy understood that he didn't deserve a brother. He didn't deserve a family. He didn't deserve anything.

Bobby's declaration that Sam was the best available hunter in the area made Sam feel guilty for leaving that life—but he felt that he had to, despite the difficulties and having Sammy want to return to the life of hunting and Dean. Sam had to sort himself out before he threw himself back into the hunt because at the moment, Dean was right. He couldn't be trusted.

-o-

Maybe it was because of Lindsey's similarities to Jessica that it wasn't long until Sam was dreaming of Jessica on a nightly basis. The dreams seemed so real and vivid. As Sam dreamed of actually talking to Jess, Sammy started clawing at Sam's psyche in a plea to be released. Because for Sammy, Jessica was one of the few people who represented normal for him and he wanted to see and talk to her even if it was only in a dream.

Sam had a brutal fight on his hands trying to stop Sammy from coming to the surface because there was something about the dreams that made him suspicious. The hunter side of Sam was restless, especially it had been a good two to three years since he had last dreamed about Jess. Those dreams were as vivid but always revolved around the last time Sam had seen Jess on that fateful night. He would dream sometimes of being in time to save her and other times when he wasn't.

He had never dreamed of Jessica knowing about the things that he and Dean had done afterward. Besides, Sam knew that Jess would understand why he felt the need to separate himself from Dean and practically the rest of the population. Hell, if she'd seen what he'd done, she'd probably want him to leave just as much as Dean did.

Sam knew that if he let Sammy out completely, all his hard work would be for nothing. But as the days turned into weeks and the dreams of Jessica became more intense and vivid, slowly Sammy started to drip into Sam's consciousness as Sam became more influenced by Jessica's words.

Sam knew that by keeping Sammy submerged for the time being, he could survive and just maybe come out on the other side a stronger man and brother.

It all had to do with his iron grip on the hope that he could survive this. Survive being without Dean, survive his body and mind's overwhelming temptation to consume demon blood, and lastly survive Sammy. If he could survive these things, he could become a different man. A better man. A redeemed man. One who had complete confidence in himself and no regrets whatsoever.

Sam said as much to Jessica, pouring out both his and Sammy's fears. He had lived with them for five long years almost and it felt so good to let them be known. Sam knew deep in his heart that Jess would understand.

At first, Jessica seemed to agree with Sam's decision to isolate himself from the people he loved. But as the days turned into weeks and the dreams of Jessica continued—Jess slowly started to change her tune.

One night, after Sam had supper with Lindsey—she had been persistent that they go out, and for the first time in weeks—Sam dreamed of Lindsey instead of Jessica.

It was a nice change, albeit an unwelcome one because Sam and especially Sammy had grown accustom to dreaming about Jess.

The dream Lindsey smiled at Sam and said, "I know that no one has ever done anything so bad that they can't be forgiven. They can change."

Sam felt himself fill up with hope because that what both he and Sammy believed with everything they had.

As Sam watched his dream self smile in gratitude at Lindsey, someone touched his shoulder. Sam turned around and saw Jessica watching him.

"So. This is your life now? Think that you can just live forever with your head buried in the sand?"

Sam turned back to look at his other self and Lindsey only to discover that they had disappeared leaving him alone with Jessica.

With his back still turned towards Jessica, Sam replied. "I love you Jess, and God knows how much I miss you." Thinking back to dream Lindsey's words about change, Sam continued, "But you're wrong. People can change. There is reason for hope."

Putting her hand on Sam's shoulder, Jess shook her head and slowly started to morph into Lucifer's image. "No, Sam. There isn't."

Sam whispered brokenly, "How can you be so sure?"

Lucifer replied, "Because you freed me."

Hearing a man's voice instead of Jess' made Sam turn around and to his and Sammy's horror—there stood Lucifer.

Both Sam and Sammy were horrified to hear Lucifer's declaration that they were his destined vessel. Both of them denied the fact letting Lucifer know that they would never allow it to happen. They would prefer killing themselves.

Lucifer didn't seem phased about the denial. He brushed it off and replied to Sam, "I really wished that it could be different."

-o-

Sometime later, Lucifer graciously left Sam to think it over and to come to the right conclusion, as he had put it. Lucifer was very logical about it. He told Sam it was just better to say 'YES' now and save everyone all the heartache and pain of just saying 'NO' constantly. Lucifer gently smiled as he said this, but then he added that he knew that eventually Sam would be saying 'YES' and if Sam was stubborn and insisted on doing things the hard way, he could be patient and wait.

With Lucifer's words ringing nonstop in his head, Sam sat down on the motel bed with a six-pack of beer that he "borrowed" from the bar. As he drank his way through the beer, his thoughts turned to Dean. No wonder that Dean had drunk so much when he first came back from Hell. It was much easier to deal with memories of horror or the illusions when you were drunk out of your mind.

For Sam, even getting totally wasted couldn't erase the fact that Lucifer had paraded as Jess and told him that he, Sam, was destined to be Lucifer's ultimate vessel. Whoopee, Sam giggled to himself, just another thing to add to the "Sam Winchester got totally screwed on yet another thing since the age of six months" list.

Deep within Sam's psyche, Sammy tentatively whispered out a plea to get a hold of Dean. Dean would know what to do, Dean would help. The plea become like a mantra to which Sammy clung with all his being.

Before his betrayal of Dean with Ruby and the demon blood, Sam had believed that too. He had known that Dean would stand by him no matter what. But now, Sam wasn't so sure of that fact, despite Sammy's unwavering faith in Dean.

But this is different. This is about the devil wanting to wear you. Sammy whispered to Sam. Dean will help, I know he will.

As Sammy continued to whisper reassurances in his ear, Sam remembered that he was a brother before he was an addict, he was Sammy before he was Sam.

He picked up his cell and dialed.