Fingers clumsy, Sam tried to close his cell. It dropped from suddenly nerveless fingers and clattered to the floor.

Dean's voice echoed in his ears.

"You can't come back. It's safer for us to be apart."

He couldn't get his head around it.

Dean had always been there for him. Except for his time at Stanford, there'd been no time in his life he hadn't been able to count on his brother.

If not to help, at least to listen.

The man who'd just hung upon him wouldn't even listen.

He didn't want to be Sam's brother anymore.

He could dress it up by saying that they were safer apart. That as long as they were together, the angels and demons would keep manipulating one against the other.

But the truth of it, the truth he could hear in his brother's voice, was that Dean didn't want him around.

Didn't want him to be his brother anymore – didn't want him.

Saying he didn't have a brother - that was like saying he didn't have a heart, or lungs. Dean wasn't just part of him - they were two halves of the same whole. One couldn't exist without the other. There was no Sam without Dean.

Not much of a brother, is he, Sam?

Sam raised his head, hazel eyes stretched wide with fear and shock.

I guess he doesn't love you as much as you thought he did. Not anymore, anyway.

He lunged to his feet. "You can't be here!" he choked. "I'm not asleep! You can't be here!"

And yet, somehow, I am. Do you suppose that means you want me here?

Sam shook his head, struggling for control. He strode to the door, twisted the doorknob. It wouldn't open. Desperate, he stared around the room, knowing already there was no way out.

Sam. Don't fight this, don't fight me. It's inevitable. I'm like the sun, or the moon. I'll always be here. For you.

Sam lunged for his duffel, pawed through it, pulled out his .45.

I know you can't be planning to use that on me, dear one. Soft laughter.

Hands shaking, Sam cocked the revolver, put the muzzle in his mouth. A single tear tracked down his face.

We've been through this before, Sam, the voice chided. It won't do any good. I'll just bring you back.

Tongue gun metal bitter, he slowly lowered the gun, dropped it to the floor.

I will never leave you, Sam. You will never be alone. You will never lack a friend, an advocate, a brother, a lover -

The voice giggled. There was a hitch to that laughter that had Sam's stomach clenching in terror.

"Go away!"

But Sam, without your brother, whom else do you have? Your father's dead, your mother, Jess, and now Dean -

Sam clenched his fist, punched himself in the head. "Get out!" Then again, "Get out!"

You think you'll lose yourself once you've let me in, but it's not true. I'm not interested in a slave - that's why I chose you. I want to share, Sam. I want to share everything - with you.

Sam stumbled across the room, eyes wild. He tripped over his duffle on the floor and fell.

"shut up shut up shut up shut up!"

The relentless voice was thick with gloating anticipation. After we kill Michael, the world will be ours.

Crying, moaning, Sam shoved himself into the space between the wall and the bed, as far back into the corner as he could get. "Please . . ."

You'll have everything you ever wanted, I'll make sure of that. Dean and your Mother and Father. Jess. Anyone, anything. All for just that one little word.

Is that really so much to ask?

Moaning, Sam slammed his head against the wall. Again, and then again. After the fifth blow, he was bloody and half-conscious.

Satisfied, for the moment, Lucifer stopped.

After all - wouldn't want to bruise that fine packaging.