AUTHOR'S NOTE: I am SO sorry to everyone who has been following this story. But the past few weeks have been so full of life drama, family drama, friend drama, work drama, cat drama (Poor Hetfield's down a couple teeth), car drama (what'dya mean these tires don't pass inspection! GRRR!) that I have not been able to get to my computer forEVER!... But you care not for GirlyGhoul drama. You want Supernatural Drama! And I don't blame you. On with the Show featuring Angst! Torment! and Nekkid Imperiled Sam!
WARNINGS: Violence and Gore and Torture (oh my!) Plus strong language including a couple F-Bombs. Intense Sammy Peril with lots of Bobby and Dean angst. And also... Nekkid Sam!
DISCLAIMER: I do not own and didn't create these characters. I just made them imperiled... and nekkid.
The old hunter threw himself over Sam's gigantic form, desperately trying to still his convulsions. The gurney was tilting precariously, threatening to tip over and hurl both him and the injured man to the floor.
Holding on for dear life, Bobby inwardly cursed himself for not being more specific when he begged Sam to move again. He should have remembered that Winchesters never do anything halfway. Now the kid was in the midst of a full blown seizure!
It was the heat that got to Sam first. An overwhelming, scalding heat that was like walking barefoot on melted tar while being blasted with hot wax. His head was throbbing from the heat. Wave after wave of increasing pain came crashing through his consciousness as if someone were literally beating against his skull with a hammer.
Nausea began to build in his stomach and he moaned, wishing for some relief from the pain and sweltering heat. A pair of hands touched his face suddenly. A gentle loving caress that offered him a small amount of comfort… Until he heard the voice…
"Good morning, Starshine," Lucifer cooed close to his ear, "The Pit says 'Hello'!"
Shaken, he opened his eyes to see the Fallen Angel hovering over him, a sledge hammer resting casually on his shoulder and a satchel of newly forged railroad spikes draped across his chest. Sam instantly shrunk back from the sight and felt the all too familiar sting of splintered wood stabbing at his tender exposed skin. It only took him a moment to realize that he was lying prone and naked against Lucifer's favorite torture rack.
"Welcome home, Honey Bunch," the Fiend smiled, running his fingers affectionately through the young man's hair, "I've missed you."
With a gasp, Sam leapt up from the wooden plank and took off running. The Devil merely cackled as he effortlessly caught the boy around the arms and waist and dragged him back towards the slab.
"LEMME GO!" Sam screamed.
"And just where do you think you're going, Precious?" Lucifer sneered, "There's nothing but Hell for miles and miles."
No! No! It couldn't be! He couldn't be waking up in Hell! He'd beaten Lucifer at his own game and never turned the gun on himself… In fact, the whole game itself was never real. Lucifer was never real. The mirage that had been taunting him even admitted as much… So why had the scenery changed on him again?
Before he could ponder the matter further, Lucifer kicked the back of his leg out from under him and toppled him onto the rack. The Beast then crawled on top of Sam, holding him down with his weight and pressing the man's vulnerable flesh against the roughly splintered wood.
"Ummm… Now this is cozy," the Devil smirked, tauntingly patting at the boy's cheek, "Brings back so many lovely memories…"
"You… You're not real!" Sam insisted, doing his best to look and sound defiant even as his whole body quivered in terror, "None of this is real! Dean showed me…"
He grabbed hold of his own injured hand and pressed his thumb into the wound just as Dean had done to prove to him that he was back safe on Earth. To his utter shock and horror, Lucifer neither fizzled nor faded as he had before. Sam pressed harder, grinding his thumb into the cut, not caring if he drew more blood or ripped the stiches. He just wanted the Devil gone from his sight.
"Dean showed you what?" the Fallen Angel snorted, "How to play Patty Cake? Ahh, never mind. I have so, so many interesting things to show you myself. Come on. Let's get you more settled in!"
Giddy with delight, the Beast quickly wrapped a pair of heavy chains around his victim's arms and chest, pulling them tight to keep the man in place.
"NOOO!" Sam roared, struggling in vain against his bonds, "NOT AGAIN! I'M OUT! I ESCAPED! THIS ISN'T HAPPENING!"
He kicked out furiously at Lucifer but the Archangel merely dodged the blow as he chained the boy's legs down. Sam let out a shout of frustration that quickly became a sob. If Lucifer was only a figment of his imagination why wasn't he able to fight back? Why was he trapped in this delusion when just a moment ago he was assuring Dean he was fine and ready to meet Bobby back at his… Oh God!… Bobby's house!… They found it torched but they couldn't find Bobby… And then the Leviathan…
Sam laughed out loud suddenly, nearly hysterical with relief. He continued laughing even as the chains dug into his skin and Lucifer glared down at him as if he were insane.
"This is just a trick," Sam rejoiced, "A total mindfuck! My mind tricked me before into thinking I'd never escaped Hell and the world around me was all an illusion conjured up by you… By the Devil I mean… And now it's making me think I'm back in Hell… I… I just need to wake up and it'll all be over!"
Emboldened by this revelation he glared at his captor, willing him to disappear and the pain and heat to fade away. His resolve began to falter as Lucifer remained standing over him, stroking the handle of his sledgehammer thoughtfully and giving Sam major side eye.
"So let me get this straight" Lucifer said at last, "You mean the whole time you were up there, you thought you were down here and I was tricking you into thinking you were up there?"
The Fallen Angel pounded at his knee, howling with triumphant laughter that chilled Sam to the core.
"I love it!" Lucifer cheered with glee, "You escaped the Pit… And your life still sucked! Oh Sammy, and you did it all to yourself! That is too perfect!"
"But… no… no… no…" Sam stammered, "This is just a dream… Another hallucination! That Leviathan knocked me cold… I just have to wake up! This isn't real! I escaped! I'm… I'm home…"
"Sorry, Snookums," Lucifer pouted in mock pity, "But you're wrong. Dead wrong actually. 'Cause you see, kid… That Leviathan killed you!"
Icy fingers of dread wrapped themselves around Sam's heart and he slowly shook his head refusing to believe the Devil's words.
"No… no… That's not true…" he whispered hoarsely, eyes welling with tears, "That can't be true!"
"Yep. It is." Lucifer beamed, "Remember? He landed the mortal wound right about here…"
The Beast aimed a spike directly over Sam's left eyebrow, then in one swift motion hammered it all the way through the boy's skull and brain, impaling him against the wood on the other side. Sam screamed as a white hot rush of pain shot from his head searing every nerve in his body all the way down to his toes. He remained conscious of the devastating wound, every beat of his heart pulsing out a new surge of agony.
"Real enough for you, Sweetheart," Lucifer asked, leering down close to his captive's blood drenched face. "You're dead. And you're mine... And this time it's forever!"
The Devil's laughter echoed through the Pit as Sam tossed his head back as far as the spike would allow and let loose a cry of utter despair.
It was like trying to ride a rabid bronco with a hornet's nest tucked under its saddle.
Sam's entire body was being wracked with increasingly violent spasms as Bobby struggled to keep him from falling off the gurney. What had brought on this attack, the hunter had no idea- and no clue how to stop it. All he knew for certain was that this was the worst shape he'd seen the boy in since he was detoxing from Demon Blood. If he'd been afraid Sam wouldn't survive then, now he was terrified. The kid's body was as deeply scarred at his psyche and this time he might not have the strength or the will to pull through.
"Sam!" he cried, hoping to get through to the agitated man somehow, "Sam! Please! You've got to calm down, son!"
The kid answered his pleas to calm down by convulsing hard enough to snap the tubing of his nasal cannula and knock the heavy canister of oxygen into the bedside table. The stack of medical supplies Bobby had carefully organized the night before came spilling down and scattering across the floor.
"Balls!" the hunter swore, praying nothing important was damaged.
Amidst all the chaos Bobby could see out of the corner of his eye that Dean was fully alert now and preparing to rush to his brother's aid, broken leg or not.
"Just stay there damn it!" Bobby snapped, fixing the boy with one of his patented death glares, "I can't deal with both of you trying to kill yourselves by falling out of bed!"
"What the Hell, Bobby!" Dean cried, staring horror struck at Sam's writhing form, "How did he go from 0 to Slam Dance in 2.5 seconds!"
"He's having some kind of fit or seizure," Bobby guessed.
Hell, he wasn't even sure if he was dealing with a medical emergency or a supernatural one. With Sam it was hard to tell. He forced himself to tear his gaze away from the utter distress and helplessness he saw in the older brother's eyes and turned his full attention back to Sam.
The youngest man's face was contorted in pain, his head thrashing around so forcefully that Bobby was sure he would manage to give himself another concussion. He quickly threaded his fingers through Sam's sweat soaked hair, trying his best to cushion the kid's head from the uncontrollable pounding he was taking. It felt as if he had just stuck his hand inside a furnace.
"Oh, good Lord…" he gasped.
The hunter didn't need a thermometer to tell him that Sam's temperature had risen to a dangerous level sometime in the night. Bobby could have kicked himself for not getting up sooner to check on the kid. The fever raging through Sam's body now was high enough to have triggered this seizure and hot enough to broil his brains. They had to get him cooled down fast!
"Dean!" he called, reaching his hand towards the other man, "Toss me a wet cloth, quick!"
"Shit! Bobby! He's gonna crash!" Dean cried out in a panic.
The old hunter whipped back with both hands to try and prevent the giant man from tumbling off the cot, but then realized what Dean had meant. Sam's heart monitor was bleating out a frenzied alarm that the kid's pulse was beating too fast, too hard. At any moment, he could go into cardiac arrest.
"No! God, No!" Bobby begged, placing his hands on either side of the boy's face "Don't you do this, damn it! We can't have come this far to lose you now! Sam!... SAM!"
He stared down at Sam's prone, shaking form, feeling utterly powerless to help him. The kid's breathing was becoming increasingly labored, his heart rate irregular and dropping. The terrible convulsions were slowing down, but Bobby didn't know if that was a sign that the seizure was ending, or that Sam was slipping away from them.
"Come on, kid," Bobby fought back tears of frustration as he ran his fingers through Sam's hair, "Don't give up now! Come back to us!"
"Damn it, Bobby!" Dean cried out, frantically, "Don't just stand there petting him! Get one of those big Pulp Fiction needles! He needs a shot in the heart to snap him out of it!"
"That only works in the movies, idgit!" the hunter barked, more harshly than he meant to, "He's not just gonna snap out of it…"
All at once, Sam's eyes flew open, startling both his uncle and brother as he drew in a deep breath and sat bolt upright. Before the other men had a chance to react, the kid ripped himself free of all the tubes and wires Bobby had carefully set up for him then hopped out of bed and took off running.
"Son of a Bitch!" Dean gasped, "Bobby! Stop him!
"Wasn't expecting that," Bobby declared before giving chase.
The youngest man nearly made it out the door before Bobby managed to catch him around the arms and waist holding him back.
"Whoa! Whoa! Where do you think you're going, boy!" the older man grunted against the wall of muscle trying to break away from him, "Get your butt back in that bed!"
"LEMME GO!" Sam roared thrashing ferociously in the hunter's grasp.
"Good gravy!" Bobby muttered as he struggled to haul the giant back towards the gurney, "He's out of his mind delirious."
Even with Sam in such a weakened condition it was like trying to wrangle a moose into a playpen. He'd had to fight against the kid's brute, adrenalized strength many times before, never realizing how much he needed Dean's help until he didn't have it.
"Hold on, Bobby!"
As if reading his thoughts the elder Winchester ripped out his own I.V. and attempted to vault out of bed… failing miserably. Bobby rolled his eyes as the young man landed hard with a thud and a grunt. So much for the cavalry.
Hooking his foot around the back of Sam's unsteady leg, the old hunter managed to topple the runaway Sasquatch and force him back onto the mattress. The boy continued to struggle, but Bobby held him fast using all of his weight. He was wary of causing the injured man further harm, but there was no way he could let him go running out into the Montana air wearing nothing but an undersized hospital gown.
"Easy! Easy there son!" he said, gently patting the kid's cheek, "Just calm down now! Listen to me. You're safe. You're at Rufus's cabin. Dean and I are here and we're gonna take care of you. Just relax."
"You're not real!" Sam cried as he trembled beneath the older man, "None of this is real!"
The kid's eyes were wild with abject terror. He showed no recognition of where he was or who he was with. Sam had been tormented by hallucinations and Hell flashbacks off and on all week. Bobby had caught glimpses of the boy staring off into space or preparing to fight against some unseen horror. Before, it had taken no more than a word or two from him or Dean to bring Sam back to reality. But now, the old hunter could see that the boy was in it deep and wouldn't be connecting with the here and now any time soon. There was nothing they could do beyond keeping Sam safe until all the pink elephants and blue meanies in his head saw fit to leave him in peace.
"How 'bout we save the existential debate for another day," the hunter spoke firmly, looking Sam square in the eye, "Right now you need to settle down before you hurt yourself!"
As if to prove his point, Sam inexplicably grabbed his injured hand and pushed his thumb directly into the cut.
"Balls!" the hunter gaped as a thick trail of blood oozed from the kid's stitches, "Stop that! Look at what you're doing!"
In desperation, he pulled the kid's hands apart, forcing them to his sides before grabbing the restraints attached to the stretcher. Moving quick as he could Bobby buckled the heavy straps across Sam's chest and arms, pulling them tight.
"NOOO!" Sam seethed, kicking out furiously at the older man, "THIS ISN'T HAPPENING!"
"Damn it, son! It's me, Bobby! Stop fighting me! I'm trying to help!"
The hunter barely managed to dodge a direct blow to the face then somehow got the kid's legs strapped down before he could take another shot. It nearly broke Bobby's heart as the giant man began to sob in his restraints. The boy was already scared out of his wits without being tied down to boot but Bobby didn't know what else he could do under the circumstances.
"Sorry, kid," he said sincerely, panting to catch his breath, "It's for your own good. You were out of control."
He grew alarmed as Sam's pitiful sobs suddenly dissolved into delirious laughter.
"It's a trick! A total mindfuck!" the kid cried out.
"Yeah… something like that…" Bobby said, feeling the conversation was a little one sided.
"Bobby! Give him to me!" a plaintive, pain filled voice called out behind him.
He turned to see Dean still sprawled on the floor where he had landed, holding out his arms as if reaching for a small child.
The exhausted hunter nodded with understanding and wheeled the gurney towards the fallen man, wishing he'd thought to do that earlier. He sure as heck wasn't getting through to Sam, but maybe Big Brother would have more luck. Dean grabbed onto Sam's guard rail for support as Bobby helped lift him back into his own bed so he could tend to his ailing sibling.
"Sammy? Hey, hey. It's ok now. I got ya," Dean said anxiously brushing the hair away from Sam's face as the younger man continued to alternate between sobs and giggles, "Come on. Knock it off with the Cuckoo's Nest act, huh? I'm here… I'm watching out for you."
"No… no… That's not true…" Sam moaned, twisting as far away from his brother's touch as the restraints would allow, "That can't be true…"
"It is, Sam!" Dean snapped in frustration, "Come on, Dude, we got this all straightened out before, remember? I'm real! I'm right here with you!... Sammy…? Holy crap, Bobby! He's burning up!"
"I know," Bobby sighed, "You two have been playing dueling fevers since Sioux Falls. Wet the rest of those cloths and start washing him down. We gotta get him cooled off and calmed down in case his brain is swelling up again."
The hunter regretted being so blunt when he saw the stricken expression that flashed across Dean's face. He cast his eyes down sheepishly and began to search through the medical supplies scattered across the floor. Dean quickly wrung out one of the wash cloths and pressed it against Sam's forehead. The kid slammed his head back suddenly and screamed bloody murder as the cold compress came in contact with his bruised brow.
"Whoa! Sorry Sam!" Dean said, growing disturbed as the younger man began to writhe wildly in his bonds, "Come on now take it easy, kid. Don't be such a wussy!"
Sam was twisting back and forth so hard that the straps began to cut into his flesh, drawing blood.
"Bobby! Bobby come quick!" the older brother cried, "He's freaking out!"
"I'm trying to find that fever reducer!" Bobby stated as he continued to crawl on hands and knees in search of the small vial.
"That might not be enough!" Dean called out, struggling to hold Sam still.
"It worked for you," Bobby insisted just before he found the vial cracked and its contents emptied, "Balls!"
"No, I mean the guy in the ambulance gave him something else before," Dean explained, "Something that made him stop going all Headbanger's Ball and got him chilled out fast!"
"What was it?" Bobby asked.
"How the Hell should I know," Dean snapped, "I was strapped down on the other bed!"
"Untwist yer panties, boy!" Bobby snapped back, "I'll find it!"
He remembered the notation on Sam's chart. What had been administered to stop the first seizures. Something with a 'P'. Damn it all, but he'd left the kid's chart in the ambulance. Who knew if he'd actually brought in the right stuff… or if that vial hadn't been shattered on the floor as well.
"Bobby! Hurry!" Dean yelled, his voice breaking, "He's not doing so good!"
The hunter glanced up at the Winchesters and gasped. Sam's eyes were rolled to the back of his head, blood trickling from his nose and ears as his body jerked and shook uncontrollably. Dean was nearly sick with worry, staring down helplessly at his brother. Bobby scanned the floor frantically, praying to find what the kid needed to pull him out of this state.
"NOOOOOOOO!" Sam screamed at the top of his lungs.
The old man was stopped dead in his tracks. Never in all his years of hunting had he heard such a mournful and agonized sound. He looked up and locked eyes with Dean who was pale and trembling. Bobby's heart sank to the pit of his stomach. It wasn't the fever or the convulsions they had to worry about after all. Whatever dark fantasy had seized Sam's mind was killing him.
The kid was literally dying of fright.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Oh noes! Continued Sammy Peril!
Once again, I must thank everyone for their patience. It's been a tough couple of weeks. I have many fics and wonderous fan art to catch up on.
As always, I appreciate any comments or feedback you care to throw my way. Esp. in the case of this chapter. I was interupted in writing it so many times by Real Life that I'm no longer certain it makes any sense. Please let me know if it's at least somewhat coherent. My brain... it is fried... (But at least I don't have the Devil hammering nails into it)