A Soul on Fire

By: supernaturaldh

Summary: Sam's little stroll down memory lane does not come without its consequences. Set immediately following the episode 'Unforgiven'.

Authors Note: This is a tag written 'for Carolyn'.

Word Count: 1486

Beta: Mizpah

A Soul on Fire

Sam:"I get it, okay?"
Dean:"Do you?"
Sam: "Yeah, you're afraid I'll stroll down memory lane and I'll… kick this wall in my head so hard Hell comes flooding through, right? Then I'm suddenly some drooling mess on the floor, right?"
Dean: "It's not a joke, Sam."

-0-

Dean frowned, his head darting up immediately as his fingers stuffed the smelly tee-shirt down deep inside the ratty duffle bag. What the hell is that noise and why'd Sammy stop talking mid freaking sentence?

"Sammy?" He said anxiously. He bolted to his feet, eyes scanning the tiny room.

"Sam?"

Sam was sprawled on the dirty floor flopping around uncontrollably, like a fish out of water.

Oh my God…No, no, no, no, no….

Dean sprinted toward the limp convulsing form and fell abruptly to his knees.

"Sam, talk to me," he pleaded as one hand grasped Sam's flailing arm and attempted to hold the jerking appendage steady.

Sam didn't stir, didn't seem to hear him, his dilated eyes staring off into a void of nothingness.

The air caught tight in the older brother's throat as the words from earlier in the day came crashing to the forefront of his thoughts. "I'll kick this wall in my head so hard Hell comes flooding through, right? Then I'm suddenly some drooling mess on the floor?"

"Oh God," Dean whispered.

He tasted bile, and his grip tightened around Sam. Very slowly, and with great care, he scooted in behind the convulsing, twitching form. He pulled Sam back against his chest, wrapping his arms tightly around his baby brother.

"Hey, come 'ere, it's okay, I gotcha." Damn it. I refuse to lose Sam, not here, not now, and not again.

Sam's head lolled against Dean's chest as his body jerked uncontrollably. Strong arms held on to the flailing form tighter as the seizure seemed to go on forever.

"Easy, I'm right here Sam," he soothed, "I'm not going anywhere. It's okay; it's all going to be okay." I just got him back. Please- please- please- please- please.

Sam's twitching slowly ceased; his large overblown pupils staring off into the empty space.

Dean released a stuttering breath. Thank God! He rocked Sam gently in his arms. To and fro to and fro. He tenderly tilted Sam's head up and looked him intently in the eye.

"Sammy?"

The older brother's eyes glistened, memories of Cold Oak flooding through his head. The helplessness he'd felt at the time overwhelmed him once again. I can't lose you, little brother.

"Please Sammy, don't do this, please." He begged as he clutched at his unresponsive sibling. This cannot be happening! "Pl…please, Sammy…"

Gentle fingers cupped the lolling head as Dean leaned his forehead to rest lightly in his little brother's hair. It smelled like the fruity girlie crap that Sammy liked to wash it with. The aroma made Dean ache and he swallowed down a scream.

"Sammy?" he hiccupped out. Warm wetness spilled down across his face.

-0-

Sam was on fire. The flames were searing off his skin. Hot…too hot!

Fire…

It took his breath away.

The heat lapped up and over him in an unrelenting hold.

He twisted, and turned, and tried in vain to get away. But it was no use.

There was no escape from Hell. The pain took over as the fire consumed his soul.

He screamed and screamed and screamed.

Suddenly…a cool drop of wetness splattered down against the flames.

Sam leaned into it. It soothed him and he tilted up his face – another drop splashed down on him, and another, and another.

He let it sooth his skin.

Anything – anything to get away from the flames of hell, the heat.

-0-

Sam bolted upright, flailing hard against Dean. He panted and tugged frantically at his older brother's hold.

"Sam…Sammy?" Dean choked out.

"Hmm?"

The older brother felt the tight knot that had been constricting his throat loosen just a little bit. He swallowed convulsively as his unsteady fingers tugged through Sam's too long sweaty locks, petting, caressing at his little brother's face. Oh God, Sammy?

He eased Sam to his side slightly so he could look him in the face; see if Sam was back with him.

"Sammy?"

Sam blinked sluggishly at his brother's face.

"You scared the shit out of me." Dean said as he repositioned his brothers limp body back to rest against him. He sniffled, needing to get his own emotions under control.

"God Sammy," he whispered shakily, "you make me act like such a girl sometimes!" He tugged his sleeve up to swipe against damp eyes.

Sam's face rolled upward to stare at the fuzzy face. Dean? He could barely see through the haze around him, but he knew that this was Dean.

Dean's heart pounded. "You back with me now little brother?"

Sam cleared his throat, "personal space dude." His head rolled slowly back down to rest against the chest.

Dean snorted.

Several silent moments went by, Dean trying to grasp that Sam was back with him. Sam trying to understand exactly what had happened.

"No more scratching," Dean said in his best attempt at the 'I'm the older brother and you listen to me tone'.

Sam blew out a trembling breath. His lashes fluttered as he kept his eyes on Dean. What just happened? It had obviously been really bad, since Dean was now hugging him like he was a baby. Slowly his thoughts cleared a bit. Oh man, I scratched the wall? He shuddered as vague memories flooded into his head again.

"It's okay, I gotcha Sammy." Dean's strong grip pulled him even closer. Which Sam didn't think was even possible.

"…'Kay…." The youngest Winchester murmured. He was exhausted. He felt too drained to move. Obviously memories of hell were hard on a guy.

"What you say we get you to the car and blow this town, huh?" Dean's voice was steadier, a warm hand gripping Sam by the side of his neck holding up his wobbly head. Sam's okay…oh god, I can't believe it.

Sam blinked tiredly.

"Come on..."

The youngest Winchester felt his body hoisted upward on his weak, unsteady legs. A protective arm wrapped around his mid-section, a firm hand clutching tightly at his coat. He swayed on coltish legs.

"I got'cha." Dean said steadfastly, "Lean on me."

And Sam did, his fingers grabbing at the hand wrapped in his jacket and holding on tight, his slightly incoherent eyes searching his older brother's face. A large yawn escaped across his lips. Man, I'm really tired.

"You can sleep in the car." Dean said, once again back in control.

"Mphm." Sam mumbled. The car seems very far away.

-0-

Sam tugged his weighty eyes open. He felt strangely out of sorts. He blinked. Am I sitting down now? When did that happen? He could feel warm leather draped across him, smell the familiar aroma of the car he knew so well. He blinked again, attempting to clear his hazy vision as he lifted up his head.

"Easy, lie back," his older brother said, as a hand pressed on his chest, "You back with me?"

The little brother relaxed back against the bench seat. He gazed in puzzlement at the figure that was leaning into the passenger door.

"Personal space dude…" he said weakly. He sounded as tired as he felt.

"Y...yeah…yeah, whatever," Dean rocked back slightly, eyes bright as he looked at Sam. Thank God!

A familiar hand pushed the wayward hair away from Sam's face, and he relished it, he'd forgotten how this felt, having a big brother taking care of him. He closed his eyes and leaned into the touch.

"You rest," his brother's voice demanded.

And he did.

-0-

Dean moved tiredly around the Impala. This is just a freaking mess. He quietly opened the driver's side door and slid in behind the wheel. He looked across at Sam, his brother's face lax in sleep. He blew out a weary sigh and tugged one hand down across his weary face. He dropped it loosely to his lap. He stared down at his shaky hands. No more scratching at the wall.

"You okay?" a soft, low voice floated across to meet his ears. His eyes darted up as he lifted his head and glanced across as Sam; his Sam, not robot Sam, not catatonic Sam, but his Sam.

His little brother's head rolled to the side as hazel eyes gazed at him.

Dean smiled. Thank god for that. His hand came down and squeezed Sammy lightly by the leg.

"Yeah, Sammy," he said.

The key turned in the ignition and the Impala roared to life.

"I am now."

THE END!

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