So Much Worse

Disclaimer: Blah blah blah, I don't own anything, blah blah blah

I know, I haven't written anything in a LONG time, but hopefully I won't be too rusty. Also, nothing is Beta-ed, so all errors are my own. Also, please read the bottom after the story, it is very important to do so.

**Story will be AU as soon as season 6 finale airs. I wanted to get this out before it aired, and I was thinking about the possibilities and the ramifications of what could happen.

It can't get much worse than this.

Tempting Fate; they did it and still came out on the other side alive. But Fate's a bitch, because she waited in the corner, waiting until it was least expected, and then she pounced. And it was so much worse than they thought.

Hazel eyes gazed into unseeing hazel. There were no tears left.

How could they not see that coming? It was exactly what they had been fearing obsessively for months. And they still managed to walk right into it.

It was supposed to be simple. Get in, gank Crowley, get out. But everything went to balls as soon as they got there, with Crowley waiting in hiding or being shielded or something that made it easy for him to get the drop on them. Before they knew what happened, Crowley had appeared behind Sam, placing his hand onto his head. Sam's body had seized, as if an electrical current was passing thru him. Just as quickly as he appeared, Crowley vanished, allowing Sam's body to fall to the floor.

Dean reached Sam first, pulling his body around to find his eyes open, staring straight ahead.

"Sam?" No response. Not a blink, not a twitch. "Sam?"

Dean felt Bobby kneel down beside him, checking for a pulse. What the hell just happened?

"He's alive. I don't know what that son of a bitch did to him, but he's alive." Bobby put a hand on Dean's shoulder. "We should get him out of here."

Two hours later, Sam was placed on Bobby's couch with Dean hovering over him, checking his pulse, his breathing. If Dean didn't know better, he would have thought Sam was dead. He hadn't moved since he fell, other than blinking every few minutes. His eyes continued to stare forward, without movement. His chest barely lifted with every breath, but by checking, Dean could assure himself Sam was alive.

And that was all that mattered.

A day passed. Sam didn't change. Dean didn't sleep.

Two days. No change. Dean still did not sleep.

Three days. Bobby had the insight to put an IV drip into Sam's arm to give him fluid and nourishment. Even as the needle was inserted, there was not a flinch of pain. At least not from that Winchester.

A week passed. Dean had broken the promise he had made to himself. He called for Castiel.

It was another week before Castiel arrived. With good reason, he had been keeping his distance, both not wanting to walk into another trap and not wanting to ignore his friend. Dean's eyes said more than he could ever say aloud. With one eye on Dean, (he was sorry, but not an idiot) Castiel examined Sam.

An hour passed. Castiel came back with his diagnosis. The wall was broken. Sam's soul was intact, still in his body. But he was being tortured, slowly, painfully, consistently.

A month went by. With help from Bobby's connections, they kept a good stock of IV fluids and everything required to keep Sam alive. They tried sedating Sam, hoping foolishly that it would give Sam some relief, but with Castiel checking the result, they discovered it did nothing. So they stopped.

And so the hours, days, and weeks passed. Sam staring out, the only movement a reflexed blink. His body the epitome of calm. Dean, now a shell of the hunter he used to be, would sit with his brother. On occasion, he would wipe the drool from Sam's chin. Sometimes he would cry, or shake his brother, trying to snap him out the hell he was seeing in his mind. Most of the time, Dean would simply sit.

Months passed. And they sat together.

Dean considering killing his brother. He hated to admit it, but he did. It wasn't from hate, or boredom. That would be unthinkable. It was to save his brother. Dean knew that while Sam's body was here, unchanging, his soul was burning and his mind being ripped apart. He was literally reliving decades of hell as Dean watched, unable to lift a finger to help.

Watching Sam drink demon blood, that was pie. Staring at his dead body after Jake stabbed him, so uncomplicated. Feeling the ground tremble after Sam threw himself into Lucifer's cage, understandingly easy.

But this. This was impossible. Understanding a fraction of Sam's suffering, having experienced hell himself. And knowing that unlike himself, Sam would never have the chance to get off the rack. But there was still a worst part. A factor Dean would only allow himself to think about while in the bottom of a whiskey bottle.

Sam would stay like this. He would never get better; he would never wake up. Sam Winchester would sit, staring into the air, until his body gave up, finally surrendering his tortured soul to the afterlife. And that could be years away, decades even. And Dean would sit, watching his brother grow old, worn from the pain of hell. He saw the hurt. After months of staring into his brother's eyes, he started to see patterns. They wouldn't mean anything, not knowing what horrors Sam had experienced in the pit. But Dean would see them, knowing the cycle was starting over again.

Except Dean had the power to help him. To save him. So many times in the past, Dean had begged Sam to let him help; to trust him. And now was the moment when Sam truly needed him; where the road split and Dean made a choice.

Sam stared. His brother sat. A tear ran down his cheek.

"I am so sorry, Sam. Please forgive me."

And now it was so much worse.

Good? Bad? Want more? Please continue reading, it's very important to me!

So here's the deal. I'm raising money for Misha Collin's (our very own Castiel) non-profit organization, Random Acts. If I get enough donations, I will be able to go with the organization to Haiti to help build a community center for orphans this June. This is very very important to me and I'm working very hard to get the donations. I'm over half way to my goal, but am still in need of some contributions. If you read my story, you hopefully understand the need to help those who you see suffering. Please take a moment to go to my donation website and make a contribution. More info about the project is on the page and BONUS: the donation is tax deductible! If you cannot make a donation, please forward the site onto your friends and family. If everyone who read this story donates just $20, I'll get to my goal very fast and you will have made a difference in the lives of dozens of Haiti orphans. If you can donate more, please do so. If you can only donate a little, that's okay too, because every bit helps.


So if you need more inspiration to donate, how's this? For every dollar in donations I receive, I will write another sentence for the next chapter of this story. I have ideas of where this will go and hopefully you want to read more. :) So please please please please go donate!