A/N: Spoilers for 7.03. Warning for vaguely implied sexual assault. Written for Ratherastory's Comment Fic Meme over on LiveJournal using Crazybeagle's prompt: You never hear whether or not Sam woke up at all, even briefly, before leaving the hospital. What if he had? Alone, freaked out, maybe with Lucifer to keep him company...


His head hurts.

That's about as far as Sam can think for a long time. Three words that spin in a loop, over and over...

His head hurts. Jesus, his head hurts. Like it's been split open or crushed.

Why does his head hurt?

Eventually he remembers that he is made up of more than just a head. He's about to attempt moving, try opening his eyes, look for answers, even though he's spinning enough while he's still and dark, but slow clapping starts up right beside him, each smack of flesh on flesh a lightening crash in his brain.

"Mmn?" He's meaning to say Dean but it sounds incomprehensible even to him. He twitches his fingers, reaching, and someone clasps his hand.

For a second, he relaxes. Just a second before the laughter starts and everything inside him freezes, maybe literally.

"I have to say I'm impressed, Sammy," a silky smooth voice murmurs in his ear, cold breath carrying the whisper over his skin. It worms into his head and Sam learnt long ago why the Bible depicted Satan as a snake. "I didn't think you'd have the guts to do it."

It's not real. He's not real. But the pain in Sam's head is real and it makes it hard to concentrate, hard to think, everything is shaking like a stuttering breath and why isn't Dean here? The guts to do what?

"Open your eyes, Sammy."

Sam obeys. It's reflective. Orders carved into his being like Enochian symbols on his ribs. He can't stop himself from doing it (and that scares Sam more than anything. If he can't stop himself who knows what Lucifer will make him do?). But he obeys or he pays the price. He listens or he'll regret it. He remembers this.

He doesn't know what he was expecting (except he does. He was expecting this. He's always going to expect this because this is all there is).

It all hits in an instant, the visual making reality what was before only an aching head and a wondering about where he was. Now it's fire. He burns but he doesn't. It's not hot, it's freezing. So cold that it tears his skin off in layers. It's like standing in a glacier, like being a glacier, even as he smells the stink his hair makes as it singes.

The air is thick and tangible, like smoke but not. It's not just smoke. These fires disintegrate souls. This prison is so full of demons that the air is made from them.

Lucifer won't let the fires destroy him though. The closest he ever gets to relief are the all too brief moments when he's something less than ash, before Lucifer puts him back together so he can try something new. Sam likes being ash more than he likes anything.

The first few decades he thinks he's happy that Lucifer doesn't want him as a demon, that the devil doesn't want him any other way than as he is – human so he can break him and make him bleed and scream for Dean and Lucifer can laugh and never let him go – but the endlessness of living as Lucifer's (pet, slave, bunk buddy, play thing) captive eventually makes him wish that Lucifer would offer him the same deal that Alistair offered Dean (and he will never ever tell Dean this). The fallen angel is delighted when he figures it out, makes Sam beg and plead and bargain, offer anything and everything, and one time, one time, Lucifer gives in.

(Lucifer never gives in. Lucifer only ever gets more creative.)

The devil gathers bone fragments, slides muscle and veins and organs back into place, gives Sam back his eyes for the first time in what might have been twenty years and looks at him pensively before saying simply, 'Okay.'

He leads Sam to the rack that holds the first soul Sam will be allowed to destroy, the first step in becoming a monster and escaping at least a fraction of the pain, puts the knife in Sam's hand and ruffles his hair, all gentle and kind and says, 'Go get 'em, tiger.' Waits the whole five seconds it takes for Sam to turn away from Adam and let Lucifer get back to work.

The panic now is all encompassing. He doesn't remember ever feeling anything else.

Lucifer lies beside Sam, one leg thrown over his, pressed close, head propped up with one arm while the fingers of his other hand draw patterns on Sam's chest (That will be where he makes his next cuts, when he inevitably pulls out his knife). "Welcome home, Sammy," the devil purrs.

Sam lies still and stares up at the swirling mass of demon. He won't look at him. His head hurts and that's real. Lucifer's not. He holds on to that and even though he wants to ignore the hallucination Dean's not here to stop him from getting drawn in. "You're not..." His voice hurts his throat. He shouldn't talk to delusions but it might be real unless he tells himself it's not. "I'm not... here." Even though he can't see anything else, can't feel anything else.

"But you pulled the trigger, kiddo." He lifts his head enough to form a gun with his fingers and holds it to his temple. "Just couldn't take it any more, could you? Or were you just so eager to come back? Miss being my bitch, Sammy?"

"I didn't..." Sam breathes, flinching as Lucifer's fingers head towards his bellybutton, like ice sliding over bare skin. "Dean will.. this isn't..."

The angel laughs, every bit as beautiful and hideous as Sam remembers (he'll never forget). "No, you're right. I'm just messing with you."

Suddenly Lucifer is on top of him, instead of next to him, and Sam can't move, can never move. "But that doesn't mean we can't have fun."

Sam inhales demon smoke, he can't help it, it's everywhere, tries to scream as Lucifer's hand slides lower, and, if he had been aware of it, he would have thanked God for the seizure that tears him from Lucifer's grasp.