Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural. Sad face.
It is midnight, and Sam is wondering if anything will ever be what it is supposed to be again.
He is sitting on the floor of the shower in the first floor bathroom of Bobby's house, safely tucked away from his sleeping companions on the second floor. Steam flits through the room, swirling in patterns like a Rorschach test Sam is probably failing. Hazel eyes drift shut, focusing on the scalding water pelting his skin like needles. He thinks he might feel better if they were actually needles, thinks it might secure his sanity just a little. But then the warm water on his hands turns to warm blood and Sam's sanity is the last thing on his mind as he blindly grasps for the faucet and turns it as cold as it will go.
Shivers wrack his body and a voice in the back of his head that sounds suspiciously like Dean warns him of going into shock. Sam can't bring himself to care. Now the needles are rain, and he can imagine sitting on an empty road and letting the rain wash everything away, wash him away, like the wicked witch till there's nothing left.
Opening his eyes, Sam is tired of these delusions. He wants the water to just be water, the steam to just be steam, but for the last week Sam has been Meg and the line between Sam and Not Sam has been blurred. His own name makes him dizzy.
Sam stays in the shower until his fingernails turn blue.
John Winchester never prepared his sons for this. He taught Dean the most efficient ways to use knives and guns and fists and holy water. Engrained Latin exorcisms into his head and emergency first-aid to keep freed victims alive until an ambulance can arrive and the hunters can disappear back on the road.
But John never taught Dean how to deal with the fallout of possession that comes after the physical pains are addressed. He's only ever stuck around long enough to make sure the person is alive and demon free before passing them on to someone else, and that's always been fine. But now, driving down a road he can't even remember the name of with a silent Sam sitting next to him, it is the farthest thing from fine. They are only about an hour out from Bobby's, speeding down the highway in an attempt to leave any of Steve Wendall's friends far behind them. Out of the corner of his eye he sees Sam shiver, like he has been intermittingly all morning. For not the first time Dean wonders if maybe they should have stayed at Bobby's for longer than a night. The rings under Sam's eyes tell him exactly how much sleep his brother didn't get last night. His attempt to lighten the mood had only lasted so long, and now he doesn't know what to do. Their wounds were treated, they were on the road, and Dean doesn't know what he was supposed to do now.
He doesn't like it.
It takes two days and a rundown diner to throw Sam's mind into overdrive, and not in a good way. Dean had been worried about his brother, of course, what with the uncharacteristic quietness, the nightmares, and the glazed look he occasionally got in his eyes, but he seemed to be coping. He still did research, and had even run a few articles by Dean as possible hunts.
Even Sam thought he might be okay. The experience still haunted him, but he still had hope, still believed in his big brother, and was willing to try to move forward. Which is why the sudden dark turn of his mind took him by surprise. Sam had obviously eaten in the last couple days, but for whatever reason, it is not until he is sitting in the booth of this particular diner that it happens. The waitress brings their food, a simple chicken sandwich for Sam, and a greasy double cheeseburger for Dean. Sam rolls his eyes as his brother heartily digs into his meal and is about to take a bite of his own when the thought occurs to him. What did Meg eat that week?
It's such an innocent thought, and it makes Sam sick. Because now he can't stop thinking about it. Did she eat at all? Did she eat like Dean? Eat too much? Shovel fatty foods that dripped and oozed into his stomach until it was stretched and distended? Unconsciously Sam wraps an arm around his middle, feeling for any extra fat, trying to see if he had somehow gained weight in the week he couldn't remember. The nausea grows as he imagines some extra layer of fat beneath his skin, extra cells he can't get rid of that belong to Meg. And suddenly he is thinking of cigarettes and Meg, Meg smoking, inhaling smoke and tar and nicotine into Sam's lungs and he wonders if you could see it on an x-ray, black spots on his lungs that he can't scrub clean and that belong to Meg and maybe Sam wasn't as exorcized as they thought. He felt like she was still in him.
Logically, even as he stands, ignoring Dean's questioning look, even as he turns tail and bolts to the restroom, logically he knows it makes no sense. Even as he lands hard on his knees, clutches the toilet and hurls violently, he knows anything he ate, Meg ate, has already been digested, has already done any damage it could. He knows this, but he cannot stop because God, he just wants her gone.
When Dean finally pulls him off the floor, drags him back to the car, drives them away asking "What's wrong, Sammy? What happened?" Sam just focuses on breathing, wishing with all he has to exhale whatever's been left behind.
Sam thinks if it weren't for logic, he wouldn't have to question his sanity so much. Because as Dean opens the door to the tattoo shop he knows it's a brilliant idea. The charms Bobby gave them are great, but you could never trust things like these not to break or fall off at exactly the wrong moment. This is a sure fire way to make sure neither of them are ever possessed again. It's perfect, it makes sense, it's totally logical.
But Sam still clenches his hands into fists and grinds his teeth as the artist begins the first stroke. Dean smiles beside him, mistaking Sam's tension for pain. "Lighten up, Sammy, it doesn't hurt that bad." Sam wants to respond, to shut his brother up or reassure him or joke with him, it doesn't matter because he can't. Dean can't possibly understand that all Sam can think about as the needle pierces his skin again and again and again is that he is being filled with something else that doesn't belong to him.
Sam questions how much of himself is really left, and his mind is caught on the brand on his arm, the stains on his lungs, the fat wrapping around his stomach and now the ink seeping beneath his skin. How long has he been like this? Pieces of other people? Even growing up there was Dean's hand-me-down clothes and his fathers training engrained in his muscles and as a child he had even wanted to be just like his dad and brother. Now all he wanted to be was Sam, and he didn't even know what that was. If it ever even existed.
When it is all over, Dean grins happily. Sam just stares, taking in his reflection and wondering what he has left.
It is months later when Dean finds Sam curled up in the bathroom, knees to his chest and face hidden his arms. The older Winchester sits beside him gently, not wanting to scare him off before he can even figure out what's happening.
"I'm not sure."
Dean starts at the words and gazes at his brother in confusion, waiting patiently for an elaboration, an explanation. Sam rocks back and forth slightly, eyes wide and somewhere else.
"I've got demon blood in me." It is whispered, and Dean barely hears it, barely understands it, but Sam continues regardless. "Yellow eyes, his blood is in me. And I can still feel Meg in my lungs, in my stomach, and some stranger in this stupid tattoo and I don't feel like Sam, but maybe I stopped being him twenty-three years ago. Maybe I stopped being Sam the moment that blood touched my lips."
Blinking, Dean knows he's missing something, knows Sam is half a conversation ahead of him, but he knows enough to hopefully reassure his little brother, his baby brother who will always be his brother.
"Sam…" His heart breaks at the flinch he receives, and he suddenly realizes that there is nothing he can say, not right now and not like this. So instead, he wraps an arm around his brother and holds him close, whispering Sam's name over and over until the youngest Winchester begins to believe that maybe, just maybe, the name is his.
BLAAARG Hate the last section. XP Oh well. I'll rewrite this at some point, I'm sure. Either way, hope you enjoyed! Any form of reviews, even the harshest of flames, are welcomed and appreciated! Thanks for reading!