AN: This idea came to me on my way to work the other day (luckily I take the train to work so I had some time to write it all down). Like most of the things I write, it came on quick and it came on strong. It begged to be written and I love what I have so far. I've read many good "Sam rescues Dean from Purgatory" fics, but I don't think anyone's done something quite like this yet.

Where the Shadows Lie

Chapter One: Don't Leave Me Here Alone

After Sam blows up the lab, he climbs into the Impala and drives, watching Leviathan Headquarters burn to the ground behind him.

Crowley, that two-faced bastard, was right about one thing: Sam's alone now. Truly alone. Mom, Dad, Jessica. Jo, Ellen. Rufus. Castiel. Bobby.


All gone.

The only thing Sam has left in this world is the car. It's the one connection he has to his brother.

So he drives.

Dean's in Purgatory. Sam knows it in his gut, in his heart. It's the only logical explanation. Of course, the idea of Purgatory's existence should be preposterous. But in Sam's world, it's just par for the course.

Heaven. Hell. Purgatory. Dean's been to all of them now.

But he's never been to the Grand Canyon.

The idea's so ludicrous it makes Sam laugh.

But his laugh quickly turns into a sob, and Sam fights to keep from crying, because he knows that if he starts he will not be able to stop.

He doesn't realize where he's going until he's outside her door. And then it makes perfect sense. He's not going to Rufus' cabin. He knows he'd never be able to stand being there without his brother. He just can't be alone right now.

His hands shake as he knocks on her door.

"Sam?" She answers the door in a bathrobe. It's three in the morning. Sam has no idea where the time went.

He opens his mouth to speak, but all he can get out is "he's gone" before the tears start to fall and he breaks.

She steps outside and pulls him into a tight hug. She doesn't have to ask who "he" is; there's never any doubt. She doesn't say a word, just holds him as he cries on her porch, tears soaking her shoulder.

When the tears finally stop, she leads him inside, guides him to the couch. She makes him a sandwich and heads back into the kitchen. He eats it mechanically, because she was nice enough to make it and because he knows he needs it. But it doesn't taste like anything.

She comes back with a cup of hot chocolate. There's a splash of something in it that Sam can't place. It's strong, whatever it is, and Sam feels the warmth of it spread through his body, and he's grateful.

And just like that he's telling her everything. About Dick, about the Leviathans, about Cas and Crowley and Kevin the prophet…and Dean. The story flows out of him in a rush, and when he's done he feels better for having shared it, as if a small part of his pain has been eased.

Though it doesn't change the facts: Dean's gone, and Sam has no idea how he's going to get him back. If it's even possible to get him back.

Wordlessly, she offers him a hand and helps him up from the couch. Sam's surprised to find the room spinning slightly around him as he stands, and if it weren't for her hands on his arms he'd probably be on the floor.

She leads him to what must be the guest bedroom. She pulls back the covers on the bed, and Sam sits down heavily. He blinks a few times, can't keep his eyes open. It hits him that she must have put something in his cocoa to help him fall asleep. His shoes come off, and she helps him out of his jacket. Sam lies down wordlessly and she pulls the covers over him.

Through the fog in his head, he thinks he hears Jodi Mills say, "I'm so sorry, Sam."

Then he falls into a deep and mercifully dreamless sleep.

The next day, Sam goes back to Rufus' cabin and collects all of Bobby's books, all of Rufus' books, and brings them back to Sheriff Mills' house.

He tells Jodi he doesn't mind staying at Rufus' place. It's almost like a home to him now anyway. But Jodi tells him she doesn't mind in the slightest. That she knows he doesn't want to be alone and that he's "just too damn polite to ask for help."

Sam smiles, and though he won't admit it to her, he's grateful.

He spends the next two weeks looking for a way to get Dean back.

He doesn't find anything. Not even a hint of anything.

It doesn't surprise him, really. This is Purgatory. God created the place as a giant prison, designed to keep all manner of nasty creatures locked away from the world. With Cas gone, with the angels scattered, Sam has no hope of finding his way into Purgatory.

Sam doesn't expect to find anything.

So he's more than a little surprised when the answer comes to him in a dream.


AN: Reviews are greatly appreciated. :)