A cataclysmic flash of Lucifer's face in the ambulance, and Sam wanted to be done.

Not gone, not for five minutes; but forever. To give up, let go of every breath in his lungs, and die. So, maybe I am a hallucination. Nobody's perfect; but I'm not going anywhere, Sam.

His insides contorted into a violent rictus that traveled up his skin, distorting him. He writhed on his side, a pained cluster of panicked sounds escaping him as the cold of Lucifer's influence warped its way through his veins and stabbed into his heart.

A fluster of concise voices over his head told him that he was slipping, his grip breaking just as quickly and totally as every other part. Words like seizing and stabilization bled into his murky consciousness and Sam wanted to scream at them, Just let me go, dammit, I can't do this anymore!

Hands were steadying his neck, trying to conform him to stillness, to spare his skull, cracked, and brain, bleeding from the confrontation with the Leviathan in the salvage yard. Monsters and cars and glass and broken legs and you're supposed to carry me, but Sam couldn't make it make sense, couldn't make it matter more than the menacing presence of Lucifer hovering just out of reach.

Sam could feel salty tears sliding from his eyes, stinging bitterly in the cuts by his hairline. Cold fingers and chilly needles poked and prodded him and Lucifer was whispering, Right here, Sam. Open your eyes, sneak a peek. I promise you won't turn to stone, little buddy.

"Just kill me!" Sam thought he might've said that out loud, if that desperate raspy growl counted as a voice. The voices above him swirled faster, sliding out of focus.

And then, pressure, against his left hand; against the hand hanging from the side of the gurney, his fingers almost brushing the ambulance floor. It was a gentle but steady pressure that rose in crescendo to a sweeping fire racing up his arm, fingers mashing into the stitches on his palm.

"Sammy!" That voice, broken, pleading. "I'm right here. It's not real. Sam, listen to me—believe me!"

Lucifer squalled against the background, but Sam held on to those words: Believe in me. Sammy. Believe in me.

Of all the broken promises, fractured trusts and mistakes, it shined brighter than anything he'd ever known. Complete and utter faith, like a second heartbeat nestled inside of his, the steady pulse from fingers pressed into his wound.

The reason he was here.

I am your flesh and blood brother! and, I'm not leaving my brother alone out there. Louder than the rest: We got you out, Sammy.

All of the pains came flooding back, his hand and his head, his stomach tossing violently with the humming of the tires underneath him. "Dean…"

"Stay with me, little brother."

Sam slammed his eyes shut, twisted his damaged hand around Dean's, and hung on.