A/N: Hi guys!

Sorry it's been a while. I've had this fic on my computer since the airing of this episode, but never got around to posting it. I wanted a little more pov from Sam around the end of this episode and this is what came to mind. I hope to add a Dean pov chapter to finish the story off later on, so hopefully within the next few days.

A/N #2: Angst, oh glorious angst runs rampant in this story!

Tag to "Hello Cruel World"


He saw Dean go down in a tangle of limbs and broken glass.

Sam may not have a weapon on him, but that didn't stop his fist from rocketing into the Leviathan, making the creature drop and Sam hiss in pain as he shook his hand out from the hit.

Dean was groaning behind him, the Leviathan was pulling himself up and Sam desperately needed a plan B. Glancing up, Sam saw the busted car hanging suspended above the downed creature. Turning, he yelled for his brother, seeing that Dean already saw what he had as he made to press the button to release the car.

Turning back, he was startled to find the Leviathan not only upright, but already mid swing, a two-handed grip on a crowbar that Sam saw a split second before it cracked against his skull.

The force of the hit knocked him backwards, but it was the resulting crash as the car dropped on the Leviathan that lifted him off his feet to slam hard into the ground.

Sam wouldn't remember the impact.

The fiery agony raced along every neuron and seemed to steal every thought and motion away from him. His limbs flopped weakly and consciousness was but a dream and a thought as his limbs stilled and his head listed to one side, just as blood started to seep from one ear.

His once white vision turned black and all Sam hoped for was that it wasn't Hell he would wake up to.


Distant sounds pulled Sam away from comforting darkness. A moment's concentration and he could distinguish three voices. Three voices that cut in and out like bad reception on TV. One sounded familiar, the other two unknown.

"Sir? Can you hear me?" Sam could distantly feel what may have been a touch on his arm, but a moment later and it was gone, as if it had never occurred in the first place.

While light seared his left eye a moment later and a garbled cry pushed past his lips as thoughts of abject terror took hold. Lucifer was known as the morning star, the brightest of the angels. Lucifer took pleasure from Sam cowering from his true form – one that made Sam's eyes bleed and erode from his head from just a glance at that looming and poisonous figure.

His arm twitched, trying feebly and unsuccessfully to shield his eyes from what was surely to be excruciating pain.

"Pupils sluggish… unequal…states…signs of… injury."

The words didn't make sense, but the light was gone and even though the pain in his head was doubling and re-doubling, he couldn't help but feel a small measure of relief.

He started to drift again, only to be brought back to almost full awareness when a sharp sting touched the back of his right hand. A hand touched his, stilling his feeble movements. Panic set in and Sam gasped for breath, the pain searing as the movement jarred his aching head.

"Easy. Easy. I'm just setting up an IV." The voice was soothing, trying to placate, but the voice was unfamiliar and the pain was getting worse.

Sam didn't know where he was, who was there with him and his head felt like it was going to squeeze his brain out through his ears.

He suddenly felt something trickle from his right ear and down his neck and Sam abruptly realized that might be exactly what was happening.

A calloused hand wrapped around his wrist, gentled yet strong and unyielding in its grasp. "Sam."

The voice was achingly familiar, soothing. Sam struggled to open his eyes, his hearing growing sharper as consciousness lay but a breath away. "Sammy, wake up."

Dean. Only Dean asked like that – like Sam was scaring him. He never wanted to scare Dean. His brother was under a lot of stress, Sam remembered, though he couldn't recall how he knew that.

His mouth was dry and the name came out garbled and unintelligible, but it must have made sense because Dean's grip tightened around his wrist.

Sam thought it wasn't a bad way to drift off, finally having an anchor to pull him back if he went too far.


Sam's awareness trickled back like the slow bead of blood trickling down his neck. He grimaced from the loud wailing sound that pierced his already battered head. For the first time that Sam could remember, he finally opened his eyes.

It took Sam a moment too long to place the vehicle as an Ambulance – but between the wailing of the siren, the impossibly loud voices around him and the beeps and clicks of machinery on the wall beside him he felt overwhelmed with all the sound. His vision blurred to the point all recognition failed, even though face of the paramedic was no more than two feet above him.

He shifted his head slightly, feeling the tug of something behind his ears and in his nose. It took a moment to place, his own memories vague of the last time he'd had a nasal cannula. The extra oxygen seemed to awaken a few of his less damaged brain cells, pulling him from spacey incoherent to somewhat aware, but it made the pain sharp instead of dull and he coughed lightly to clear the bitter tang of blood from the back of his throat. His head throbbed from the action.

He closed his eyes for what felt like only a second before he felt an eyelid lifted and a blinding light was shined in his eye. The pain was excruciating.

He groaned.

"Sam, you stay with me, you hear?"

Sam's head rolled across the pillow. Dean? Dean had been there… before, hadn't he?

Above him, the paramedic started talking quietly, words Sam's fuzzy mind couldn't discern, and Sam wondered distantly if he was talking about him.

He peeled his eyes open, staring down at the end of the gurney with blurry vision, until Lucifer's form came into crystal clear clarity. Sam's head began to throb, the pounding drumming against his skull as the world shrunk to center around the devil at his feet.

The Devil in question, shrugged – careless and free. "Hey, so maybe I'm not real. Nobody's perfect." Cold, hard eyes zeroed in on Sam, who felt the gaze pass over him and left him breathless with fear. "But I'm not going anywhere Sam."

Sam could hear the cruelty, malice and torture that was wrapped around a promise that Sam knew the Devil would keep. The Devil may twist facts, manipulate circumstances to better himself, but he always kept his promises.

Something blared behind him, the pain growing unbearable and his awareness shrank as his vision greyed around the edges.

It didn't matter that Sam might not be in the cage anymore - Lucifer's torture was unyielding, unbending and beyond the simple bars of the Cage. Sam could never escape, could never be far enough away to never feel the touch of pain of fire and ice, of metal and stone and all the tortures that an Arch Angel could imagine.

Even as he sank back into oblivion, Lucifer's malicious grin followed him down into the darkness.


A/N #3 - Thanks for reading! Next chapter hopefully within a few days.