This was written for hellunbounded's prompt at the Sam-focused hurt/comfort fic challenge at OhSam on LJ:
7x06 Dean runs in a minute or two later, and Dean!Leviathan has already started in on our boy. You decide how back the damage is. Bonus points for mental trauma of Sam not being able to trust Dean in his badly battered state.
Obviously this goes AU toward the end of 7.06, but I tried to make it moderately canon-complaint for 7.07 by the end.
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize.
My Heart Stumbles On
"How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know
My weakness I feel I must finally show"
-Mumford & Sons, "Awake My Soul"
"You know," the leviathan said, walking around the table in front of Sam, "I guess that's why Dean never told you that he killed Amy."
For a split second, the words didn't quite register. They didn't make any sense strung together, but the slight smirk on the leviathan's—on Dean's—face made them click. And Sam felt like he'd been hit in the gut with a crowbar. His eyes widened as the air left his lungs and the blood drained from his face. He was frozen to his seat as a hand seemed to pierce his chest, grab his heart, and start to squeeze—a sensation he unfortunately had a reference point for.
He couldn't get a denial to come off his tongue as Dean's weird behavior over the last weeks played across his mind's eye. The drinking, the weird comments, the looks when he thought Sam wasn't looking… He knew Dean had been hiding something, and this? Well, this just made too much sense.
The leviathan's face lit up. "There it is! The look on your face," he crowed, "that is priceless!" He slammed his hands on the table and Sam started. "Now I can eat you."
A small part of Sam knew he should care he was about to become leviathan food. That he should to something. He hadn't gone to Hell and back just to die like this, handcuffed to an interrogation table. But what did it matter? What was there to live for if his brother was lying to his face and couldn't trust him?
"Look, you don't trust her, fine. Trust me. Dean, please."
"Gotta start sometime, right?"
Empty words from the one person Sam couldn't take them from. Dean was supposed to be his stone number one, the foundation of his reality when Hell started creeping in. When Lucifer was riding shotgun in Sam's grapefruit, reminding him of how much fun their time together had been and doing his best to get Sam to come back to him, it was Dean that brought Sam back. Dean was the only thing that kept him going in Hell, that helped him hold onto some semblance of his humanity, and that was true topside as well.
"Here's the deal. Dean thinks you're nutballs. He thinks you're off your game."
So what was the point in fighting it when his brother's words were a lie?
Sam couldn't bring himself move, to care, as the leviathan wearing his brother's skin circled the table.
The leviathan laughed, a cold sound that made the hair on the back of Sam's neck stick up. "'Cause, you see, I like my meat a little bitter," he whispered into Sam's ear.
Sam swallowed. "Just do it," he whispered.
"What's that?" the leviathan purred. The son of a bitch was enjoying this—not that Sam would expect anything less.
"Just do it already," Sam gritted out, shutting his eyes. He didn't want to be the last sight before he went back to Lucifer to be of his brother biting into him.
"That's right, Sammy," Lucifer crooned into Sam's other ear. "You and I both knew it was only a matter of time before you'd come back. MFEO, kiddo."
A familiarly callused hand grabbed Sam's hair. Sam took a shallow breath and waited for the inevitable bite, but his eyes startled open when his head was thrust forward. The table rushed up at him and then his vision went white and pain exploded through his skull.
Sam lost track of time as the world around him spun, though he thought he could hear Lucifer laughing somewhere in the background. When his vision slowly returned, he tried to make sense of why he was sitting upright. He blinked sluggishly at the mirror and frowned at what he saw: Dean stood behind him on one side, Lucifer on the other. Dean was grabbing Sam's hair, keeping him from falling over. A trail of blood was trickling down Sam's forehead.
Dean smiled, though the look seemed foreign on his face. "Just a little tenderizing before dinner."
Clarity slammed into Sam like another blow. He hissed and the leviathan's grip tightened.
"There he is," Lucifer said with a smile that matched the Dean-leviathan's. "Though, who knows for how much longer. Then it'll just be you and me again. Just like the good old days, Sam. And I can't wait to welcome you back home."
Sam let out a little whimper at that before he could stop himself. The leviathan smiled, and Sam tried to focus on the sharp pull at and the burning in his skull to ground him, but Lucifer stayed where he was.
"Now that's more like it," the leviathan said. "I'm going to enjoy eating you, nice and slow, Winchester." And then he threw his head back. Sam's breath hitched at the sight of the monster's teeth.
And then the leviathan jerked Sam's head all the way back and bit down at his throat.
It was like two rows of knives cutting deep into his flesh, burning and freezing at the same time. Sam's eyes went wide and he cried out despite himself. The leviathan ripped his skin apart like a sheet of paper before coming back up. Warm blood dripped down Sam's neck and under his shirt onto his shoulder. His head lolled and his vision greyed in and out as Dean's face, blood dripping down his chin, greeted him. Dean smiled, looking a lot like the vampire Sam's soulless self had let him become in that missing year.
The leviathan bit down again and the world around Sam dissolved. He wasn't in the interrogation in the room anymore—he was back on the rack. Lucifer hummed happily as his fingernails, each sharp as a sword, dug into Sam's skin and shredded muscle and bone. His fingers came out bloody and he licked each of his fingers clean.
"You were made especially for me, Sam," Lucifer whispered conspiratorially. "Every part of you is imbued with my grace to some degree."
Sam tried to laugh, but it came out as a bloody laugh. Blood dripped down his chip and Lucifer wiped it away like a parent cleaning up his child's face. "Do—doesn't this qualify... as… cannibalism, t—then?" he stuttered through violent spasms of pain.
Lucifer chuckled. "We were always meant to be one, kiddo."
"That j—just makes it all b—better, then," Sam replied, blood pooling in his mouth. He spit it out and his eyes drooped shut.
The Devil's blades went back into Sam's shoulder. Sam's eyes flew wide open and he screamed with the little strength he had left.
And then everything mercifully went black.
Sam was floating. For that moment, there was nothing but calm and peace. He couldn't remember the last time he had felt so light and at ease. He nearly went back under to the all-encompassing darkness.
Then he heard a weary murmur of, "C'mon, Sammy."
Sam came crashing down to earth with the weight of the familiarity of those words and he gasped in shock. His neck and shoulder were on fire. The rest of him was freezing, but sweat beaded on his forehead. His head was throbbing. Fire and ice were encroaching from both sides of his peripheral, and he heard soft whispers and the echoes of manacles in the back of his mind that could only belong to Lucifer and Hell.
Sam's eyes flew open and he jolted upward, only to fall back at the sharp pain that shoot through his entire body at the movement. His breath was coming in ragged gasps as he tried to make sense of his surroundings.
"Hey, easy," a familiar voice said as a hand gently eased him back down onto the pillow.
Sam swallowed and blinked a few times. He found himself staring up at an unfamiliar water-stained ceiling. What the…?
"Breathe, Sammy. Easy now."
Sam instinctually listened to the instructions of the familiar voice and set to evening out his breathing. In. Out. In. Out, he coached himself until he was no longer gasping.
"Dean," Sam rasped out, still staring at the ceiling. He said it without realizing he was speaking and winced when the word came out.
Sam turned his head to the side and saw his brother sitting on the edge of the other bed. Motel, he realized. But when…? The memories of the interrogation room and the Dean-adjacent leviathan came flooding back. Sam screwed his eyes shut and turned away. He couldn't look at his brother.
"I guess that's why Dean never told you that he killed Amy."
"Sammy, hey. Talk to me here. What is it?"
Sam just shook his head, eyes still shut, and he heard the springs on the other bed creak as Dean rose. He felt the bed dip at his hip and turned toward the other wall. Too close. Dean was too close when Sam didn't know how to feel about him. He swallowed and bit his lip. Too close. Too much.
"Levi-me really did a number on you," Dean said, putting a hand on Sam's leg. "By the time I found you, he'd already taken a few bites. And…" Dean trailed off.
"Dean thinks you're nutballs. He thinks you're off your game."
Sam opened his eyes but kept staring at the wall. "And what?"
Dean heaved a sigh. "You were gone, man." He sounded exhausted and that, more than anything, made Sam turn toward him again.
Looking at Dean still made his heart ache, but the weariness worried him at the same time. "Gone?"
"I… You were having a hallucination," Dean answered haltingly. "But nothing would snap you out of it. I came in and managed to kill fake me, but you were just gone, man. Lights on but no one was home, you know? Finally you just passed out, but that was probably blood loss."
Sam turned back to the ceiling, unable to keep watching his brother. His last memories were muddled—the leviathan, Lucifer, the bite, knives, laughter… It all ran together into a hellish mess that Sam didn't have the energy to even attempt to untangle.
"He killed Amy."
"What happened?" he asked. His voice cracked from disuse and Dean helped him sit up slowly to take a drink of water. Sam managed to take a few gulps before lying back down, all without looking Dean in the eye. He knew he was a coward, but he was terrified to see the lie that the leviathan had revealed.
"Sheriff helped me smuggle you out to a motel. His daughter was the coroner, so she'd had some medical training. She helped me patch you up and got some good meds." Dean shook his head. "There was so much blood, Sammy. I thought for awhile..." He trailed off, but the unspoken I thought I was going to lose you again hung heavily on the air.
"Dean thinks you're nutballs."
Dean shook his head. "Anyway, you've been out for three days. Been running a fever. I tried calling the coroner chick again about possible infection but it just went to voicemail." He shrugged. "But hey, it's not like we've never dealt with this kind of thing before."
Sam snorted tiredly. "Leviathan bites, sure. Routine stuff."
"That's the spirit, bro." Sam rolled his eyes and yawned. "Get some sleep, Sam. I'll be right here."
That's what I'm afraid of… Sam thought as the darkness pulled him under once more.
Sam was bedridden for the next week. His fever broke after two more days, but he could barely move with the neck and shoulder wounds. He'd spent most of the time sleeping off his fever and any remnants of the infection that Dean had tried to clean out with holy water, but when he was awake he could barely look at his brother. The leviathan's words kept playing through his mind and Lucifer had taken to repeating the conversation they'd had the night Dean had promised to trust Sam about Amy, complete with a growly impression of Dean that Sam did his best to ignore.
Dean tried to keep him resting longer, but Sam needed to do something, even if it was just hobble to the bathroom to take a piss on his own behind a closed door. Reading the laptop screen made Sam's eyes ache and stomach churn, so his entertainment choices had been limited. The proximity was getting suffocating and the laptop had been the only other potential barrier between them besides sleep in the motel room while Sam was immobile.
Though Sam's fever had broken and his strength was slowly returning, he was still completely reliant on Dean to help him across the room, to get food, to change his dressings, and to dress and clean up. His brother's hands burned to the touch and Sam didn't know what words he could trust. He could feel his tenuous grip on reality slipping the longer he was stuck where he was and Lucifer was taking full advantage of the cracks in his stone number one foundation.
Eleven days after the leviathan attack, Sam woke up from a midafternoon nap to see Dean sitting in the desk chair across from him with a frown.
Sam's stomach turned and he quickly sought out a spot on the wall just above his brother's head. "Dean?"
"What's going on, Sam?"
"You know what," Dean said, leaning forward. "You won't look me in the eye. You flinch away every time I get close. Hell, you barely talk to me!"
"First I just thought it was because you felt shitty. I know it's…" Dean swallowed but plowed ahead anyway. "It's harder to keep Hell back when you're hurt. I get that." He shook his head. "But that's not it, is it? So what gives?"
Sam opened his mouth, but the image of Amy killing her mother popped unbidden to mind and he shut it again and looked away.
"Seriously, what's going on? Did levi-me say something? Because whatever it was—"
"It's nothing Dean."
"Yeah, that's believable. Want to try again?"
"Seriously, Sam. You're the one who had a leviathan chewing on his bones. You could let me help a little here."
"Help, right," Sam snorted, finally turning to look Dean in the eye for the first time in eight days. Dean blinked, suddenly looking unsure.
Sam pushed himself up onto his elbows. It pulled at his stiches, but he made himself focus on the sting. He needed to be all there for this. "How are you supposed to help me when you've been lying to me for weeks, Dean?"
"I asked you to trust me, Dean. More than anything, that's what I needed from you. And you said okay." Sam shook his head. "And then you killed Amy anyway."
Dean looked like Sam had gotten out of bed and punched him. His mouth worked silently for a few moments before he managed to find any words. "Sam, I—"
"You just wanted to help. Right, I got it," Sam snapped back. "If you really wanted to help, you'd leave me the hell alone."
"You know I can't do that. You can barely walk across the room on your own." Dean's voice was quiet. "I'm not leaving you unprotected."
"Then get another room. Because sharing this room with you right now? I can't keep doing it, Dean."
"You, me, and the Devil makes three," Lucifer said in a sing-song voice from his perch on Dean's bed. "Not enough room for all of us and all the secrets, right Sammy?"
Shut up, Sam willed the hallucination, focusing on the strain of his stiches, but Lucifer remained where he was with smirk.
Dean was staring at him, like Sam was some alien creature claiming to come in peace. "Sam, I can't just—"
And Sam had to admit, he needed Dean. He was still embarrassingly weak and wouldn't be up to traveling for at least another week. He'd never be able to get his own food or even get to the shower and change his bandages on his own. But he couldn't work through anything with Dean not ten feet away from him 24/7. He dropped back onto his bed and turned toward the wall, pulling at but not popping his stitches.
"Dean, please just go." After a long silence, Sam heard Dean rise from his chair and fumble with his keys. "Just don't come stumbling in at 3am drunk. I'm no shape to help you puke."
Please just give me some space. But come back.
"Okay Sammy," Dean said quietly.
I'm not leaving you alone.
The door shut behind Dean and Sam felt Lucifer carding a hand through his hair. He turned his head into his pillow and let the tears fall.
- finis -