A/N 1 - This was written as a prompt fill for the Hurt/Comfort fic challenge on lj user="OhSam" for the prompt below from lj user="mentholpixie"

A/N 2 - I feel the need say this not to be condesending, but to make it clear - Lucifers speech will appear in Itallics as though it's a thought because he is a hallucination and not real in this fic.

Prompt: Okay, so Dean thinks Sammy's dealing with his Hell memories. And he is, of course he is, because any time Lucifer gets too loud or the walls start drenching themselves in blood or whatever, he takes a knife to his arms and it all stops. SO that's good, right?

Except Sam goes too far while they're separated after Amy. Dean to the rescue!.

Sam is sitting on his bed in his motel room watching the television, or at least that's how it would look to someone looking in on him. The television has been on for a few hours and he's long since lost track of the shows that have started and finished in that time, its all been background noise since he can't stand to be in silence anymore, not since the wall was brought down by Castiel and the hell memories came flooding back. He's too lost in his thoughts to focus on the television just now. He wipes away a tear as he pictures Amy in his mind for what must be the hundredth time since he checked into the motel. Her face morphs from the adult to the child he first met all those years ago and back to the adult, and then he gets an image of the little boy in his mind. God Amy I'm so sorry. He can't believe that Dean would kill her behind his back, that Dean wouldn't trust his judgement, and then for Dean to have hidden it from him for so long. No, it's not just that Dean doesn't trust his judgement that hurts the most, it's the fact that after everything they've been through these last few years that Dean still doesn't trust Sams judgement, feeling the need to deal with things in his own way all the time. I threw myself into hell to stop Lucifer, to save the world, and my own brother still doesn't trust me he thinks it might have been better if he hadn't fought himself in his dreams, if he hadn't recovered his memories from hell. Maybe then Dean would trust him more, wouldn't feel the need to look out for his little brother yet again.

Sam is drawn from his thoughts as a familiar figure appears beside the television, resting his arm on it as he stands casually. Sam gasps and says "Lucifer".

He nods as he says Hello again. Beating ourself up again are we?

Sam shakes his head, saying out loud to the hallucination as much as he is to himself "Not real. You're not real. I can deal with this."

Lucifer laughs as he tilts his head back slightly before looking at Sam again as something close to sympathy crosses his face before he replies Oh after ... how many years has it been now? ... you should know by now how much I like these types of games Sammy.

Looking at his hand Sam sees the scar the marks it and he holds it up for the devil to see before dropping it and saying "No, this is real. You're only in my head, otherwise I wouldn't have this scar. Oh, and by the way ... It's Sam."

It's all in the details you know Lucifer comments as though he's said this thousands of times, moving his hand smoothly as he gestures to their surroundings The more detail I bring to the game, the more fun I can have watching you destroy yourself when you realise that you've never really left me. Sam.

"I know that this is real..." Sam says shakily as he takes a breath. He can feel the doubt start to creep in, and he doesn't like where it eventually leads him to. Bringing as much determination to the statement as he can muster, he continues "...Nothing that you say will make me think otherwise."

His determination doesn't work on the hallucination as Lucifer shakes his head, concern written on his face. The expression washes away to be replaced by amusement as he smugly says We always begin this the same old way, the same old story. I'm not real, you're really out of my cage and so forth... So why don't we just cut to the chase, because I'm starting to get a little bored now. I'm real... I'll always be real to you. You're still in my cage Sam. Adams here, but Michaels too busy having fun with him right now... I'll let you hear his screams and watch if you want to, but only when I'm done you with and this little game. Oh, and for your information... I'll call you whatever I want, and I like to call you Sammy.

Sam shakes his head, the doubt now coursing through his body and mind in full force. He licks his lips which are suddenly dry and mutters a "N-no". He looks to his hand and suddenly remembers the scar and Dean pressing on it one of the last times things got this bad. He presses his opposite thumb into the scar and doesn't feel the pain that was there to drag him back to reality when Dean done it. Dean he thinks. Sam presses harder but still no pain comes, and worst of all is that when he looks up Lucifer is still standing there.

Sam opens his mouth to say something but is stopped when Lucifer holds his finger up to his mouth and makes a Sssshhhh sound that just sounds wrong coming from the devils mouth. Lucifer then points to the far corner of the room and Sams gaze follows the point all the while thinking hallucination-notreal-hallucinationnotreal. Blood starts to ooze out of the corner at the ceiling and slowly drips down the wall.

Abruptly standing up from the bed, Sam runs to his duffle which he dumped next to the door earlier and fishes around the bag, eventually finding his pocket knife and moving to sit on the edge of his bed. Lucifer has merely stood in the same spot, his gaze following Sam as he moved, and now he shakes his head in a sympathetic it's not worth doing this to yourself if I'm really here manner. Sam looks at the devil as he rips open the shirt buttons and quickly pulls it off, as Lucifer smiles and raises and eyebrow at the white t-shirt that Sam wears under the shirt. "D-don't you dare pretend to not know why I wear all these layers" Sam mutters at the fact that Lucifer is acting like he doesn't get it. Looking at him with determination, Sam opens the pocket knife as he stretches out his arm so that it rests on his knee, and drops his gaze to his arm. He draws the knife an inch down his arm and a little blood seeps out from the shallow cut. Looking up, Sam sees that Lucifer is still there. Sam gasps and shakes his head.

Lucifer smirks and looks around the room as he tells Sam See, I told you this was real. He then turns to look at the wall and the blood starts seeping out from the ceiling and flows down the wall in a stream that's steadily gathering pace and width as it starts to engulf the whole wall. Sam is still thinking notreal-hallucination-notrealnotreal as he sees the flow of blood spread down the wall and turn into the black goo that the Leviathan bled after they dropped the car on him. Lucifer suddenly disappears from sight and Sam hears his voice from just behind him, swears that he can feel the hallucinations breath on his ear and it's hands on his shoulders, a position that is all too uncomfortably familiar to Sam. He takes deep breaths and tries to calm himself down, clenches his fists closed and he feels the weight of the knife in his hand as he does, it helps to ground him as his hand tightens around the handle of it, reminding him what he should do to make this stop.

Lifting the knife, Sam brings it down into his arm as he starts drawing it downwards and the pain causes him to close his eyes and squeeze them shut. He keeps on digging the knife in as he drags it further down his arm, only concentrating on the pain as it rushes through him and grounds him, his mind a blur of Needtofocusgottamakethisstop and Can'tgothroughthisagain. When he feels his hand become wet he stops, opening his eyes to notice that the walls have returned to normal and that Lucifer is gone knew it was a hallucination, he looks down at his arm and sees that it's literally covered in blood which is still flowing and dripping onto the carpet and coating his hand.

He jumps up from the bed and runs into the bathroom, grabbing a hand towel and pressing it firmly on top of the deep cut that he's made. It hurts more, but he knows that he can't let go, he needs to stop the bleeding and patch the cut up quickly. The beige towel is gradually becoming stained red with his blood and he lifts the towel to look at the cut, an idea which he instantly regrets as he looks at the cut running from halfway up his arm down to his wrist and feels the urge to be sick. Shit, didn't mean to cut so deep. He covers it again as he rests his arm on the bathroom counter so that he can put more of his weight into putting pressure on to cut. After the towel is soaked through he throws it aside and lifts another one, noticing that the bleeding hasn't stopped, but that it's slowed down a little. Just as What have I done? How much blood have I lost? crosses his mind, he starts to feel dizzy and tired. He knows somewhere in the back of his mind that this is really bad, and that should be calling 911 right about now, but that part of him that's starting to think Maybe it'd be better off if I just bled out here and overrides the part about getting help. Especially when he thinks about Dean, about everything his brother has had to do for him, and that his brother still doesn't trust him. It'd make things a lot easier for everyone. And I'd finally be free from Lucifer. Yes, the more this part of his mind throws up these thoughts, the more resigned he is to the fact that it would be better if he didn't call for help.

Dean Sam thinks, he thinks that he should probably call Dean to say goodbye as he backs away from the counter to the opposite wall and slides down it, his strength ebbing away steadily. He's thankful that he hadn't taken his cellphone out of his jeans pocket after checking in, as he doesn't think he'd be able to make it all the way across the motel room now. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone, hitting the number 1 on speed dial for Dean. The line rings and eventually goes to voicemail, Sam takes a deep breath as he thinks It's probably better that he gets this as a message. He hears the beep and he speaks to the voicemail "Um, hey Dean ... it's me. I-I'm just calling to apologise. I've done something that you'll say is really stupid, but I'm good with it now. I'm sorry for everything, that you've always had to look out for me and that you still don't feel able to trust my perspective on things..." he pauses to take a breath, shaking his head against the sudden urge to lay down and go to sleep. Sam continues "...not that I'd blame you really ... I-I mean, I've never really given you much of a reason to..." He stops again, thinking how he can quickly wrap up the message as he takes another breath and carries on "...anyway, I just wanted you to know that I'm sorry ... and that I'm okay for the first time in a long time. Goodbye Dean". He finishes the call mumbling as he feels himself drifting off to sleep and he rests his head against the wall.

Sam is drifting in that space somewhere between being asleep and being awake and he feels a sensation on his hand, it takes him a while to realise Cellphone as he instinctively picks it up and answers it, eyes still half closed. The voice from the other side of the phone sounds angry, but the anger doesn't mask the hurt and worry in the voice. Dean he thinks.

"Sammy? Sam? You there?" Dean asks.

"Y-y...uh... yeah I, I'm here" Sam stutters as forced himself to focus. This is the last conversation he's gonna have with his brother, he wants to be conscious and at least semi-coherent for it.

"What the fuck Sam? I-I mean... Jesus Christ! Who the hell leaves a message like that?" Dean practically yells down the phone. Sam takes it further confirmation that he's fucked things up again Can't even leave a goddamn goodbye message properly he thinks to himself. When he's realised that he hasn't answered Dean yet, he hears his brothers voices again in his ear "Sam! What the hell did you do? What's going on?". He sounds calmer this time.

Sam tries to think of how tell Dean what happened but he struggles to piece it all together. He knows what happened, but he can't get his thoughts into the proper order so that he can put it into words properly. "I, um, Lucifer ... saw him, and the walls with blood, and you didn't trust me still ... and the knife after the scar... H-he was behind me then and I-I felt him, and it reminded me of when he ... in the cage ... and I couldn't take it anymore. Had to know what was real...didn't go away first time..." Sam trails off, feeling himself drifting off. He just wants to sleep.

He hears Deans sharp intake of breath, and he can almost hear Dean beating himself up for not being with Sam when this happened. Dean asks in a heavy voice "Where are you Sam? I'm coming"

"No. No, y-you don't need... It's okay Dean. I... I understand. This isn't your fault ... you need to, to know that. I'm happy to go now" Sam says weakly and brokenly, but he needed Dean to know this, needed to say it before he wouldn't be able to.

"Don't give me that Sam! Where the hell are you? If you don't tell me I'll just check the GPS, but either way I will be coming to find you." Dean sounded like he was close to tears.

Knowing even in his confused state that it would useless to fight Dean on this one Sam sighed and said "Glenwood ... O-o-Omaha, StarWays Inn ... outskirts. Room 20 ... at the back."

"Okay Sammy, you hang tight and I'll be right with you, I'm about an hour away. Keep talking to me Sam." Dean said, and although Sam had resigned himself to his fate he felt a rush of relief at hearing Deans words.

"But... I..." Sam muttered, his confusion and growing weakness not allowing him to finish the statement he wanted to make. Taking a breath and steadying himself to stop his head slipping forward, he said "You don't need to do Dean"

"Don't... I don't ... fuck! What the hell are you... Jesus Sammy of course I need to. You know what? You... It's not even that I need to come Sam. You're my goddamn brother through good and bad, and I want to come. You hear me? I want to come!" Dean gushed out, pausing as he stopped himself from yelling down the phone to Sam.

"I just thought..." Sam broke off, not sure what he was going to say. "Dean, I'm really tired, I just wanna sleep"

"No! Absolutely not. You're staying awake and talking to me, you got me?"

"Just for five minutes Dean, I'll feel better when I wake up". Sam couldn't understand why Dean wouldn't let him sleep, he was going to come to the motel and crash out anyway.

"Sam, no." Dean sighs loudly before saying "I need to you to keep talking to me to keep me awake. I'm really tired and I don't wanna crash this car."

Sam nods and says "That makes two of us who are really tired then huh? Y-yeah... I'll try to stay awake and talk to you. I'm cold Dean".

"Great Sammy. I've knocked some time off my journey so I'll be there soon okay? So, why don't you tell me what Lucifer was saying to you?"

Sam gasps and looks around the room at the mention of the name, thinking Is he here? Does Dean know what he did ... why I can't...No, he was here but he's gone now. All in my head, it wasn't real. It's at that point that the pain in his arm spikes again and he's reminded that Lucifer definitely wasn't real. "Ah! Dean ... my arm hurts. I-I think I m-must have hurt it on something."

"It's alright Sammy I'll be there soon okay? I'll get you patched up when I get there, just hang tight."

Sam finds that he can't quite form words anymore. It's getting too cold for him to keep from shaking now, the bathroom is starting to get dark, and he can't get the words to move from his brain to his mouth to talk to Dean, even though he knows he needs to keep talking to keep his brother from falling asleep at the wheel. He settles for a "Mmmm" hoping that Dean will get what he means.

"Okay, how about you keep listening to me and don't fall asleep till I get you huh? Focus on my voice Sam, keep focusing on it and stay awake okay?

"Mmmm" Sam is glad that he doesn't have to try to speak now, Dean understands and he's coming to help him, and that's good.

The rest of the time is spent with Dean talking about memories from when they were kids, the happier times of the Winchester family, with Sam responding "Mmmmm", his responses becoming more drawn out and gradually weaker with each one, until he stopped responding at all.

Twenty Minutes later, Dean arrives at the motel, taking the turn to the parking lot on two wheels. He throws the car into park just outside Sams room, the car jerking to a stop as he wrestles with the car door and getting his seatbelt off. He quickly picks the lock to the door and runs straight for the bathroom, it feels as though everything is going in slow motion as he takes in the details before him. "Sammy!" he cries out as he sees his brother slumped against the wall and drops to his knees beside his brother who is sitting surrounded by a small pool of his own blood. Sam is pale and sweating and he's breathing in shallow but fast little pants. Dean puts his hand to his brothers face, "Oh God... Sammy..." he sighs as he takes in the sight of his brother and the coolness of his skin fuck. Lightly slapping Sams check he tries to rouse his brother, he needs Sam conscious, needs everything to be okay.

Sams face screws up at the touch and he opens his eyes slightly, weakly saying "D'n...?". He doesn't know whats going on, doesn't remember how he got to the bathroom floor or why his arm hurts, and when did it get so cold?

"Okay Sammy, good your awake. Keep watching me, I don't want you closing your eyes" Dean sharply says as he springs into action, looking for something to stop the bleeding. "I'll be back a second alright? I mean it, stay awake". He leaves the bathroom to look for something that he can use as a tourniquet, to tie at the top of Sams arm and hopefully to stem the blood flow completely. He spots Sams disregarded shirt on the bed, the bloody open pocket knife beside it. He grabs the shirt and runs back into the bathroom, and sees Sams head drooping forward again. "Sam! Stay with me" he says in his best John Winchester voice and Sams head slowly moves back up. Ripping the shirt into pieces Dean takes a long strip and ties it as tightly as he can around Sams bicep. He notices some small white and red lines on Sams arm and thinks Why didn't you tell me? as he hoists his brother up off of the floor and practically drags Sam out to the car, arm over Deans shoulder. Placing his brother in the passenger seat, which he knows it isn't the best idea but he needs to keep and eye on Sam and this is the best place that he can do it. Going to a hospital is another not so great idea, but this much more than Dean can handle or fix on his own, Sam needs medical attention and he needs it now. Running around and getting into the drivers seat, Dean starts the car and tears out of the parking lot following the signs for the hospital while anxiously glancing at his brother who has now lost consciousness again every five seconds.

As he pulls into the hospital he stops at the entrance, running around and pulling Sam out of the car, carrying his brother into the hospital Emergency Room entrance and yelling "Help, I need some help here!". Two nurses and a doctor run over to them as a bed appears seemingly from nowhere and he places Sam on it. "What happened to him?" one of the nurses asks him as all three simultaneously start checking Sam over.

Dean needs to think fast and the words practically spill from his mouth in his haste to get them out "He was injured on the job, he called me to go over and when I found him he'd collapsed. I got him here as fast as I could. Please, help him, he's all I have".

"And his name?" The doctor asks as he looks up at Dean.

"Sam, his name is Sam" Dean replies as he bed starts moving and Dean automatically moves in pace with it. As they approach a set of doors the other nurse stops and steps in front of Dean, blocking his path.

She smiles and says "I'm sorry but you'll have to wait here until we check him over and get him sorted out". Dean looks like he's about to argue and she quickly adds "Look, we need room to treat him and we need to concentrate on Sam right now. I know you're worries but if you take a seat in the waiting area you'll be helping us to help him"

Dean appreciates her honesty, and her way of sugar coating the you'll just be in the way. He nods as he runs a hand through his hair and says "Uh, yeah. Okay..." and looks at her in an I don't know your name expression.

"My names Claire. We're gonna be a little while getting Sam sorted. If we're more than a few hours I'll come let you know whats going on"

"Okay, thanks Claire" Dean says and she smiles sympathetically as she turns and walks through the doors. He goes and sits down in the waiting area, taking in the familiar pastel shades that are in every hospital room he can recall being in. He wonders how things started to get this bad, how long had Sam been taking a knife to his arms and just how bad had his hallucinations gotten that he'd felt the need to take a knife to his arm in order to get rid of them? He wonders if this time is partly his fault for killing Amy and then not telling Sam about it. He thought he was doing the right thing in hiding it from Sam, knowing that it would end something like this, but mostly he thinks that he was just ashamed and the longer it had gone on, the harder it had been to tell Sam. He's interrupted from his thoughts as a figure appears in front of him.

"Hi, I'm the receptionist, are you the guy at that came in with Sam?" the woman asks him.

"Uh ... yeah"

"I was wondering if you'd be able to fill out this insurance form?" She asks while handing him a clipboard.

"Seriously? My brothers almost dead in there you're asking me about insurance?" Dean can feel his temper rising.

"I'm sorry sir, I know it looks but it's hospital policy. We need to check that your insurance is in order so that we can continue Sams treatment" she says as Dean sighs and takes the clipboard. She turns on her heels and leaves quickly.

& & & & & & & & & & & & & I N S E R T G A P H E R E & & & & & & & & & & & & & &

"Family of Sam McCauley?" A doctor calls and Dean springs up from his seat and his standing almost face to face with the doctor, who takes a step back as he introduces himself "I'm Dr James. I'm the one who's been treating Sam since you brought him in."

"Yeah? How's he doing? Can I see him?" Dean asks, unable to hide the anxiousness which has been growing since he handed back the insurance form an hour ago.

"Yes, you can see him. Follow me and I'll take you to him. I have a few questions I'd like to ask you on the way" the doctor says as he turns and starts walking and Dean follows him. "Sams room is on the third floor" the doctor says as the reach the elevator and when they are in and the door close, Dr James asks "How did Sam get the injury?".

"I'm not too sure myself doc, that's something you'd really need to ask Sam yourself. It's like I said, he called me saying he'd been injured and could I come over. When I got there I found him slumped in the bathroom and I rushed him right here" Dean replied as he looked at the doctor, while thinking Well it's not exactly a lie.

"You said he got the injury at work? What is that that Sam works as?" the doctor asks and Dean thinks I T A L I C S Shit I T A L I C S.

He answers the doctor "Yeah, that's what he said when he called anyway. He works as a carpenter. Is this going somewhere doctor?" as they step out of the elevator and he keeps pace with the doctor.

"No, we did notice some smaller cuts and scratches on Sams arms, but I guess in his line of work it'd be fairly easy to injure yourself on the job." They stop outside a room and the doctor says "This is Sams room. We've set him up for some blood transfusions as he did lose a significant amount of blood, and we've also stitched up the cut on his arm and dressed it. I'll come back in a few hours and see how he's doing" and he turns and leaves.

Dean opens the door to find Sam lying on the bed, managing to look unbelievable small and fragile for someone of his height and build. Pulling up a chair, Dean sits at the bed and patiently waits for Sam to wake up.

Dean lost count of the nurses who had come in and out of Sams room in the five hours that he'd been sitting at his brothers bedside. He's had two bags of blood pumped into him so far. Dr James had been true to his word and had come back in to check on his patient before his shift finished, and after checking Sams vitals he declared that Sam was getting stronger and should be clear to go home the next day. Dean knew that they couldn't stay that long, couldn't risk the Leviathans finding them. He was beginning to nod off as it was now 4am, when he saw a slight movement of Sams hand and then Sams face screwed up.

Dean stood up and leant over Sam, brushing his hair from his head as he says "Hey Sam, you with me?"

"Mmmm..." as Sams hand moved his hand up to try to remove the oxygen tube from his nose.

Dean gently moves the hand back to Sams side as he says "No Sam you gotta leave that in just now".

Sam opens his eyes and looks around before tiredly asking "We in 'ospital?"

"Yeah you are, I'm just here keeping an eye on you little brother" Dean answers as he sits back down.

Looking at Dean, Sam takes a breath and says "I'm sorry..."

"What? Why are you sorry?" Dean asks, with confusion written plainly on his face, if anything it's him who should be sorry for hurting Sam in the way that he did.

"For dragging you down here. You didn't have to come, I get how you feel..." Sam begins to answer as Dean cuts him off.

Grabbing Sams hand in his, because he doesn't care how much of chick flick moment this is, Dean says "Now you listen to me Sam and you listen good, cause I'm only gonna say this once. You are my brother. You might be a pain in the ass sometimes, but you wouldn't be you unless that was the case". As Sams gaze drops at the last part, Dean stops before saying "No, look at me Sam. I didn't mean it like that, I must annoy you sometimes yeah?" Sam nods and look at him and Dean continues "Well I meant it like that, I annoy you, you annoy me... But we both have each others backs no matter what. Nothing you do or say will ever turn me against you. And I trust you one hundred percent. Always".

Sam takes a moment to let what Dean said sink in before saying "Yeah but I though that with Amy..."

"...I was a bit of dick doing that behind you back. And for that I'm sorry, but at the end of the day I had to do it Sammy, it's not that I don't trust you or your judgement, but you were just too close to the case to see it. She was a monster at the end of the day, and she had killed." Dean says, needing Sam to see where he's coming from. It's not that he doesn't trust Sam, but they have a job to do at the end of the day and he had to do what Sam couldn't in this case.

"Yeah I see you point Dean." Sam says as he nods, and feels a weight lifted from his shoulders. He's happy that Dean told him this, and that they've both got this sorted out.

A nurse comes in to change the blood bag and notices that Sam is awake "Oh hey! Nice to see you're awake Sam." She smiles cheerfully as she starts a fresh transfusion for Sam, putting the brothers into silence as she checks Sams pulse and how his pupils are reacting now that he is awake. "You're definitely improving, the doctor will be pleased to know when he gets in tomorrow morning" she says as she exits the room.

Sam looks at Dean and asks "We're not staying that long are we?"

"Only if you feel up to checking out early" Dean answers, with concern written all over his face.

Sam nods and asks "I'll be fine Dean, do we do this AMA or just leave?"

"Probably better to just leave, they'll only try and persuade you to stay if you go AMA".

Sam nods and regrets it as he feels a little dizzy, after it passes he asks "Did you tell Bobby?"

Dean eyes widen as he says "Oh fuck! He'll kill me".

"Why don't you go call him now while this transfusion is finishing? Then we'll see about heading out?" Sam says as he settles back in the bed, still feeling pretty tired.

"Yeah that's not a bad idea, I'll be back in a few". Dean says as he stands up and leaves the room.

A little while later Dean comes back into the room and Sam wakes up with Dean asking "Hey how you feeling? Did I wake you?"

"Nah I was just resting I wasn't sleeping, and I still feel a little weak but I feel better. What did Bobby say?"

Dean smirks before saying as he sits down "Oh you know Bobby, full of concern and patience... Nah he chewed me out for not calling when I was on my way to get you and then he was worried, but I told him we'll meet him after your feeling better."

"Yeah that sounds about right" Sam says before asking "So when we leaving?"

"Well I heard the nurses talking, they do change over at six, and it's five thirty just now, so by the time we get you ready we'll head when they do changeover?"

"Thats fine" Sam says as he pushes himself to sit up and hangs his legs over the edge of the bed.

Dean gets Sam dressed gently, demanding that Sam take it easy and let him do all the work. After he pulls the I.V. out of Sams hand and puts a dressing on it, he puts Sams arm around his should and takes most of Sams weight as they make their way out of the hospital and to the parking lot where Dean had already moved the car.

When they got back to the motel room Dean insisted that Sam take the other bed while Dean cleared the other one, putting Sams knife back in his duffle, and Dean cleaned up the bathroom while Sam slept. There were still things Dean wanted to know but Sam needed his rest first.

Around 9am Sam woke up and smiled as he saw Dean sitting and watching over him.

"How you feeling?" Dean asks.

"Yeah I'm a little better thanks". Sam says as he props himself up in bed.

"Good. Now you wanna tell me what the hallucination was about? Cause you didn't make a whole lotta sense the first time I asked?" Dean asks, really needing to know what happened.

"You asked before? Huh, I don't remember". Sam says he concentrates and tried to remember what had happened. "I saw Lucifer, and he kept saying that I was back in the cage and that this wasn't real. He mentioned Adam, and that you didn't trust me anymore. The walls were dripping blood, and it wouldn't stop when I pressed the scar." Sam stops to take a breath and carries on "He was behind me, whispering in my ear ... and I needed it to stop, I needed to know what was real, that I wasn't really there. I couldn't go through that again".

"You know that this is real though Sam, we've proven that you before" Dean says.

"I know, but when it gets that bad, I can't tell, I can't switch it off like I usually can. I'm trying but sometimes it's too much..." Sam trails off.

"What about the other scratches and scars on your arm?" Dean asks and a look of regret crosses Sams face, he wasn't meant to see those.

"I'm sorry Dean, you weren't meant to see them. I just ... sometimes I need it to go away, and pain seems to be the best way to do that. But I got it under control, I swear..."

Dean interrupts "Oh yeah I can see where it's all under control Sam. Like last night? Is that what you call under control?". He can feel himself getting angrier at Sams coping mechanism.

"It wasn't meant to get that bad. I just couldn't take it last night, and I needed it to stop Dean. I don't know what else I can say, you weren't here and I didn't know what else to do" Sam answers, looking regretful that it's gotten to this point.

Dean feels like he's been slapped, but he can't let Sam keep doing this to himself. He comes up with the only solution that he can. "Sam, I can't pretend to know how you feel, and how bad it is for you when you hallucinate, but I need you not to cut yourself anymore..."

"...I can't promise Dean, but I will try" Sam says, desperate for Dean to understand.

"I know, which is why I want you to tell me when you start seeing things that don't make sense. Tell me, and I'll bring you back. I promise I'll bring you right back from any hallucination that you find yourself trapped in" Dean knows he's asking a lot, but he needs Sam to try this his way.

Sam looks doubtful, but he says "Yeah... I ... we can give it a shot."

"I'll bring you back Sammy, I'll always bring you back. I swear" Dean promises his brother, and as tears start to fall from Sams eyes Dean walks over to the bed and pulls his brother into a hug.


A/N - I hope you enjoyed reading this. As usual, please let me know your thoughts good, bad or indifferent. Thanks.