AN: Sorry for the huge gaps in updates, real life is crazy lately. This is a really short chapter focusing on Sam and angst, set during the last adventure.

Sam Winchester was woken by silence. An odd thing to bring a person out of consciousness, but he was so unused to absolute quiet that it must have unnerved even his sleeping mind into alertness.

His shoulder and hip ached—bruised almost certainly from being thrown onto a metal floor without care for his well-being. After his initial experience of pain, his first thought was of Dean—he hadn't seen his brother since something struck him in the back and paralyzed him. Sam had only been dimly aware of the Doctor, Sherlock, and John falling to similar fates. He could only assume all of them had been taken and put in these cells.

"Wow, this kinda brings us back, doesn't it?" Lucifer said nostalgically. He was sitting on the other end of the cot, swinging his legs. "Bit more temperate here, but still a cage. Almost like you never left."

Sam pressed the scar on his palm; Lucifer flickered away like the ghost he was, and silence returned. The hunter turned his mind to plans for escape, though there was really nothing he had to work with in this small, featureless metal room. He began to speculate why those jerks had taken them in the first place. Wasn't like someone was going to ransom them. Maybe the Doctor had been wrong about the planet—maybe it was some sacred shrine or something, and they'd been trespassing. Maybe they were going to be executed for it.

"Looks like ol' Doc isn't infallible after all," Satan commented casually. "I mean, what kinda Time Lord lets himself get ambushed like that? Shouldn't he know better?"

The apparition disappeared as Sam touched his scar again, repeating the mantra, he's not real, he's not real, I'm out of the cage, not even Lucifer has this good an imagination, an alien flying around in a blue box is just too bizarre to be a fiction.

Time passed irrelevantly. Sam realized that he'd been sitting with his body tensed, as if he were going to tackle whoever was the first to come through his door. Forcing himself to relax, he sat back against the wall, exhaling slowly.

The hunter was ashamed of himself when Lucifer's voice made him jump visibly.

"Maybe they're going to let you starve to death. That was a fun one, wasn't it? Remember the time—"

Sam closed his eyes and tried to forget the memory from the cage, forcing his mind elsewhere.

"Hey Sammy, did you know that silence can actually drive people insane? Not that you need much driving in that direction—aw, come on!" Lucifer flickered away; Sam's knuckles were white as he clenched his hand on his scar.

Quiet returned, worse than before. The younger Winchester began to worry about his brother, about Cas, about everyone else. They could all be dead, or worse. Whatever the reason they'd been taken, it wasn't a good one. Only a matter of time—

"Before they come for you, Sammy. Maybe it'll be hellhounds this time. Haven't done that one in a while."

That time Lucifer only stayed gone thirty seconds before he was back. Sam wanted to scream, to shake the door and pound on the walls until someone came to silence him, but instead he just leaned back on his cot, hoping that sleep would bring some relief. He kept his hand pressed to his palm, but it was useless. He wouldn't relaxed enough to even approach drowsiness—every muscle in his body was tense.

"How about a massage?"

With a cry of frustrated ranger, Sam sat up and threw his uncomfortable pillow across the room; it went through Lucifer, but the fallen angel seemed unconcerned.

"Well, you can forget the Happy Ending if you're going to be like that."

Sam thought he would break the bones in his hand he clutched it so hard, but Lucifer left him. The hunter slowly rose and retrieved his pillow. Feeling as if the edges of his mind were fraying, he laid back down on the cot, closing his eyes and covering his ears with the pillow.

This moment was not his proudest, but he assumed he was going to be killed soon anyway. He could summon his dignity when his captors returned.

He knew that, if by chance he and the others made it out of here, he needed to find a way to deal with his problem permanently. When Cas got his powers back—and Sam refused to think in terms of if—he would ask the angel to help him. The Doctor might also know something, Sam reasoned, he knew a great deal about so many things. Maybe human psychology was one of them.

Even through the pillows Sam could hear Lucifer; the apparition was singing "The Song That Never Ends" out of key. Closing his eyes and pressing the pillow around his head more tightly, he tried to think of pleasant things rather than his current situation.

His success was limited, and when he heard, over Lucifer's hundredth chorus, the unmistakable sound of gas filling the cell, he was both relieved and afraid—but mostly relieved.