Authors Note: Part 3 of 3 uploaded. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I (sadly) do not own Supernatural.
Summary: Sam's falling apart. Lucifer won't leave him alone. The memories are coming back. And to top it all off, Dean is nowhere to be found.
Dean stood for a few moments, enjoying the peace. Sam was sleeping peacefully, there were no demons to kill, and no leviathans in sight. He savoured the moment. The only thing missing was pie…
With a sigh, Dean pushed off of the wall and walked slowly back to their room. He paused to pat his baby on the hood. He couldn't wait to get behind her wheel again. Blast some Metallic. Maybe some Zeppelin… Or AC/DC. Sam didn't usually mind AC/DC. Dean unlocked the motel room and paused in the doorway, letting his eyes adjust to the darkness. He frowned as he heard a gasping sound. Had Sam had another nightmare?
His eyes adjusted and he realized that his brother's bed was empty. Panic crept into his chest. "Sammy?" He called. He heard a choked sob coming from the other side of the room. Without even pausing to flick on the light; he made his way past the beds, going to check the bathroom. He stopped when he spotted his brother.
Sam was curled up in the corner of the room, arms above his head. He was shaking silently and gasping uncontrollably. He was hyperventilating.
"Sam!" Dean knelt down next to his brother. He touched his shoulder gently and tried not to feel hurt as his brother flinched away from the touch. "S'okay Sam, I'm right here. It's not real. You're not there anymore. You're with me, remember?" He soothed, rubbing Sam's shoulder gently. "C'mon man, come back,"
When he received no response, Dean shook his brother. "Sam!" He tried to pull his brother's arms away from his head, frowning when his hand came back slicked with blood and Sam refused to budge. "Sam I need you to look at me!" His brother's breathing came faster and his body tensed even more. "You need to breathe dude, calm down! It's okay! You're okay, you're okay, Sammy, you're safe," Dean continued talking, becoming more and more frantic as his brother remained unresponsive.
SPN SPN SPN
Sam jerked when he felt the devil touch him. He heard his name being called again and for a moment, he wanted to respond. But his heart sank as he realized that it wasn't really Dean. It was just Lucifer. It had always been Lucifer. A sob escaped his throat. He wished he could die. He felt the blood dripping down his arm from his hand and wished it was enough. Wished he could lose consciousness and never wake again. But what if the nightmares still came?
He felt himself being shaken. "Sam!" Dean's voice called his name. Not Dean. Not real. The shaking became more insistent. Trying to pull Sam's arms away from his head. His breathing sped up. He resisted until the hands went away. He heard Dean begging him to calm down.
It went on for what felt like an eternity. Sam was getting frustrated. How long until the devil tired of this game? He already knew it wasn't Dean. Why couldn't he just leave him alone?
SPN SPN SPN
Dean was panicking. What if he couldn't get Sam to snap out of it? What if he went comatose again? Dean knew he couldn't bear to lose his brother again. "Sam," he begged desperately. "Please Sammy; just look at me, please?" He shook him again. Dean felt a sudden tightness in his chest. It had been nearly ten minutes he'd been trying to get Sam to respond to him. Nothing. An incredible wave of sadness nearly paralyzed him before he shook his head sharply. "Sam," he growled. "I am not losing you again. Look at me, dammit!"
SPN SPN SPN
Sam was fed up. Scared as he was, frustration was quickly overtaking the fear. Lucifer had shaken him, yelled at him and begged him. All in Dean's voice. He had it down perfectly. Sam was almost convinced. Again. But enough was enough. This game needed to end.
"Stop it!" he cried suddenly, raising his head. "Just leave me alone! I know it's not real! Dean's not here," His voice broke and his head bowed. "Just stop… Please, just… I've had enough." Lucifer even looked exactly like Dean.
"Sam…" Dean's gruff voice was quiet. "It's me Sam. Really. It's not Lucifer. Lucifer is gone. He's still in the pit. This is real Sam." He grabbed his brother's injured hand. "Remember? Remember this?" He squeezed the bloody mess. "This hurts, doesn't it? This is what is real. I'm real. You're real. Lucifer is not. He's not here. He's not real."
Sam stared at his brother, wishing desperately that he could believe him. His eyes closed again and he shook his head. "Not real," he whispered, a tear leaking down his face.
"Sam," Dean's voice was so filled with pain that Sam opened his eyes again. Green eyes met his own. "Please Sam, just trust me on this. I'm real. I'm here with you right now. We're going to see Bobby later, remember? Please Sam,"
Sam shook his head violently. "Not real," he repeated.
Dean stood up abruptly. Sam watched with a vague curiosity as he rummaged through his bag. Was the game finally over? Dean pulled a bottle out of his bag and came towards Sam, opening it as he did so. Without warning, he seized Sam's hand and poured the liquid over the cut. Sam gasped out loud, eyes widening at the pain. "This is real Sam," Dean said softly.
Sam cradled his burning hand, looking down at it. He looked around quickly, his mind suddenly clearer. Lucifer wasn't here. But Dean was still crouched in front of him, looking at him worriedly. Sam nodded slowly. "You with me?" asked Dean.
"Yeah…" Sam muttered dazedly. "I… I'm sorry Dean," he said sadly.
"Nothing to be sorry for Sam. Now c'mon, let's get you off'a the floor."
Dean pulled Sam to his feet, supporting his limp, exhausted weight until he hefted him onto the bed. "He was never here."
"No Sam, he wasn't."
"It was you."
"You… You were trying to convince me it was real. But it was really you. It wasn't… It wasn't fake-you." Sam sounded confused and childish.
A slight smile. "Yeah Sam, it was me." Sam's eyes closed again. In exhaustion this time, not fear. Dean pulled the covers over him. "Get some sleep man. I'm not going anywhere."
"Mhmm." Sam agreed. "Don't h've to stay…" he mumbled, even as his hand gripped Dean's arm tightly.
"Don't worry about it." Dean settled himself against the headboard next to his brother, letting him keep the death grip he had on Dean's arm.
Sam relaxed quickly, his breathing slowing, automatically synchronizing with Dean's. It was something they'd done in the months since Sam had become Sam again. Done it over and over again until it had become habit. Reassuring themselves that the other was okay. Sam's eyes remained closed as his breathing evened out completely. Soon he was snoring softly as Dean sat beside him, keeping a weary watch. He wouldn't sleep. He needed to watch over his brother. He wasn't going to let him have another nightmare tonight.
Dean looked down at the hand still gripping his arm tightly. He knew he'd have bruises in the morning. But it didn't matter. He almost welcomed it.
They were real.
A/N: A special thanks goes out to UnderneathTheBunker and BloodyRosie! Thank you for taking the time to review, it's great to know people are enjoying the story :)