Summary: Sam is stuck, literally stuck, This came from a prompt fic I read about Sam being stuck somewhere and Dean having to be his rescuer.
Rating: T for all the usual reasons.
Disclaimer: Kripke owns them, the credit for the prompt goes to the respective prompateer..like Mousekateer:)
A/N: I apologize to all those who have actual knowledge of the workings of milk doors, and if the details here are wrong.
"Help! I'm stuck!"
"You can't be!"
I am I really am!"
-Sondra and Mouse Ellis
Otherwise Known as Shelia the Great
Sam was hot.
Not the kind of hot that Dean thought about when he thought of women-
I mean, he was sure he was that kind of hot too, at least judging by all the women that liked to flirt with him, and all the ones he slept with when he had no soul and no inhibitions –
But he never thought about it, cause that would be distinctly weird, distinctly Dean, and right now Sam was having a hard enough time being himself.
Because himself was 6 foot fucking 4 and wedged down a milk chute.
Gah, it even sounded stupid and lame in his head.
But it didn't erase the fact that here he was.
In a house.
In Hollywood Florida.
Stuck half way in and halfway out of damn milk chute.
In 95 degree heat and 100 percent humidity.
Sam hadn't even thought about it; seriously who thinks, hmm..I'm about 220 pounds I can squeeze down a chute the size of my torso. But in his defense (a lame stupid idiotic one) he'd be casing the place for the evil ghost woman who had taken to attaching herself to young blonde women, all who resembled her daughter, who had killed her for her inheritance money back 50 years ago. 50 years of being nothing more than astroprojection had turned her vengeful and she began haunting and killing every blonde woman in her 20's she came across in the city; looking for the rest of her money.
Sam had been on the phone with Dean in mid explanation of this story while canvassing the home of Mary Tidwell, local Floral Shop Proprietor, with endless blonde ringlets. Dean had noted that part too well. But Mary hadn't been home – early morning Yoga class at the Y – at least not home when Sam started canvassing. And when he heard her key jiggling in the lock of the front door he panicked. He had introduced himself to her yesterday as FBI – and it was too early in the game to have his cover blown by having her find him sneaking inside her house without a search warrant.
He had silenced Dean's "Sam'?" the reaction from his own uttered: "Shit" by disconnecting the call, and searching for a back entrance, which he didn't have time to find before the front door opened.
Sam had spied the little sliding door lying low by the baseboards. It looked like a dumbwaiter, the house had been built in the 1940's so it wouldn't have been out of place. Sam's brain had formed out the idea to slide into the space and lower himself down to the basement or wherever the hell it went and search for another way out.
So he dive bombed for the little door, lowering himself feet first into the hole just as Mary had rounded the corner dressed in her yoga pants and tank top, reading a piece of mail.
He realized too late that the space was smaller than he had anticipated, and instead of a metal elevator, there was a flimsy tray at his feet that fell away the minute his size 11 boots kicked it. It clattered very nosily, but Mary seemed not to hear it. She also seemed not to see Sam, even though he hadn't managed to shut the sliding door all the way and watched her feet's progression towards the fridge to get something out of it.
Despite her not seeming to be the most perceptive woman in Hollywood, Florida, Sam had still held his breath.
One because there was no way in hell he could explain how an FBI agent had come up through a damn milk door instead of, you know, the front door, like a not crazy person.
But more because the space was like a solid plaster Chinese finger trap, keeping him stuck straight up, unable to go up or down, or drawn in a full breath.
Mary had walked right beside the milk door, and he had come seen her kneel down to inspect the one inch gap that hadn't been there before because she didn't use this door, her milk came from the Velda Farms truck and off the Target grocery refrigerator. And Sam prepared himself to meet her bugged out eyes and freaked expression with the words: "Got milk?"
But, forget being the least perceptive woman in Hollywood, Mary seemed to be the least perceptive person in the world. Because she just gave the little space of open air a: 'huh' and then slid the door closed, trapping Sam in darkness. Then he heard the sounds of her leaving the kitchen, and the pull and close of the front door right before she locked it.
That had been four hours ago. Sam had only held back the 'dumb blonde' muttering for Jess's sake, but he was seriously leaning towards the prejudice that if someone were that much of an idiot to not see a grown man literally inside her house than maybe she deserved to die.
But having a lot of time to think, made him reject that idea in favor of getting. the. hell. out. of. the. wall.
Sam's feet and legs had long since fallen asleep, to the point of almost anesthesia like numbness, and forget trying to reach phone in his jacket pocket to call his brother, it was jammed against the sides of the chute along with his arms, which he also couldn't feel anymore.
Sweat collected like miniature lakes at the waist band of his jeans, under his arms running like rain down his face. He was only in shirtsleeves thank god, cause 95 degrees outside, equaled 100 degrees inside this hole with no source of ventilation. But it didn't help by much, and he had already begun experiencing the signs of heat stroke, nausea, double vision.
But what was so much worse, was the creeping, tingling feeling of a memory.
Of being held down in a similar position.
With heat exploding all around him.
And the site of a long rusted sickle be waved in front of him like a flag.
"What'll it be today Sammy?" If the Devil had a real form Sam never saw it. It was always Nick who stood in front of him; but the absence of lions heads and blood red wings, didn't make it any less of torture when a forked tongue came out and the sickle traced the sides of his face behind his ears. "Right or left?" And in the end Lucifer just gutted him instead and listened to his horrible screaming as his blood pooled in a red lake at his feet.
Sam tried to blink this away, but it was still dark when he came back to the world.
Dark and hot.
And he was trapped.
He wasn't there, he was out.
But this felt just like it.
Just like hell.
Oh god- OH GOD!
Get him out.
He doesn't want to be here, he doesn't want to do this again.
Miniature demon like creatures, with forked tongues and horns tore into his legs.
A harpy with a decrepit face caked in ancient molted slime landed with sharp claws on his chest, and pecked at his face.
The scream brought him back to where he was, stuck in the chute.
But it still felt like hell.
His heaves got stuck against the wall, they could go no further.
Just like Sam.
Something grabbed at his feet.
He heard a muffled noise:
It sounded like his name.
Dean? He found him? How? Sam didn't know if the tears were for Dean or for hell. But he didn't care. Because someone came.
The little door opened, harsh florescent light blinded him for a moment.
"Sam?" Dean was crouched on the floor next to his head, peering in at him, at the predicament of a little brother stuck there. "Dude, what the hell happened?"
"G-got milk?" Sam managed weakly. Hell receded a little into the background at the sight of Dean's face, standing there not knowing whether to hug him or deck him, or just laugh at him.
Dean rolled his eyes at the lame attempt at a joke. "Man, how the hell you'd get stuck in a freakin' milk chute? You okay?"
"Awesome," Sam said.
"Yeah you look awesome." Dean leaned forward to asses Sam more, trying to look behind his brother, but the space was too small to see anything but blackness and Sam's sweat soaked gray t-shirt that was stuck to him. "Can you move?"
Despite being swaddled by a damn wall Sam still gave him some sarcasm: "Dude, I can't even feel anything." Now that Dean was here, Sam was less panicked, and more frustrated.
"Good, then you won't feel stupid until after I haul your ass out of here." Dean snapped, but he wasn't really angry, more like concerned and annoyed, connoyed – he just made a new word to describe his idiot of a kid brother. "Tried yanking your feet-"
"I felt that-" Sam interrupted, not caring that he had just contradicted himself.
"But you're tighter then my first prom date-"
"Dude, too far." Sam wheezed out in indignation, looking at what he could see of Dean's face from his position.
"How about we try grease?"
"Dean," it was hard for Sam to breathe being stuck so tight, but he managed the best huff he could. "You get the girl?"
Dean nodded. "Found her at Yoga. And ganked the ghost, but Mary isn't the brightest thing to walk the earth-"
"Tell me about it," Sam said, having the most normal conversation with his brother in the most awkward position ever.
"She completely missed the ax wielding ghost bitch coming up behind her while she reached for the sun. " Dean shook his head with another eye roll, then moved his eyes back over what he could see of his brother, which was about from the shoulders up. "Think we should really try grease, slide you out like a sausage from its skin."
"Dean I'm already soaked," Sam complained more now that he had an audience. "Just try and pull me out."
Dean looked him over. "You hurt anywhere?" He didn't want to risk such a move if Sam had broken or sprained something while playing Milkman.
Sam shook his head in the small space. "Can't feel anything if I was."
Dean's response was to grab Sam by the neck, the only purchase he could find. "You ready?"
Sam looked completely indigent, but he didn't say anything knowing Dean was only trying to help.
Dean counted to three then pulled "Damn," He cursed as he tried to find some form of leverage behind him on the slippery tile. "Your neck weighs a ton Sam."
Being pulled by the neck, felt exactly like what it was, weird and awful. Sam felt his shoulders move up maybe an inch, but then nothing. "Dean, stop- stop! It's not working!"
Dean fell back against the tile, panting, Sam, still stuck in the wall, doing the same. The top part of Sam heaved in the little space before being forced to stop against the barriers. Sam was a big guy, Dean knew numbness or no, it probably hurt like a bitch to be stuck like that. "Axe?" he offered out.
Sam was still panting, and hadn't answered him.
Dean watched a bead of sweat drop down Sam's face and into his eye. Dean knew from personal experience that that burned like a mother, but when the little drop hit Sam's eye; he didn't just flinch – he screamed.
"Sam!" Dean pulled himself over into a crouch beside Sam's head, grabbing the flailing neck. "Dude, what-?"
A well of blood dripped into his eye, his own from the Harpy clawing at his scalp. It blinded him. He heard Lucifer laughing even with his eyes closed.
"Don't be like that sweetness, I waited so long to see your beautiful eyes." A slice of metal dug into his eyes forcing them open. Lucifer sat there and smiled. "That's better, huh kid?" He licked the blood away, his tongue burned like acid.
"Sam!" Dean shook his brother's neck. Sam's eyes were open, but they were glazed, he wasn't seeing Dean, it was like he was somewhere else.
He didn't want to be here again. It was so real, just like – oh god. Fire sizzled every inch of his flesh. One of the little demon pixie things, climbed up his leg, shredding the flesh there with little to anchor itself. Another sat on Lucifer's shoulder, laughing manically as the Devil pulled his chains tighter, digging into his flesh. He rolled the rack so that he was completely standing up. He tore off Sam's shirt with his sickle, and flakes of rust and skin came away.
"Stop it!" Sam screamed outside his head. "Let me out! please! Let me out! Dean!-"
Sam screaming his name raced a hot shiver down Dean's neck. Sam was screaming for Dean like he wasn't right there, like he was somewhere else.
Sam looked at Dean with unseeing eyes, tears leaking out with each heave of his breath. "Dean, please make him stop, he's hurting me! Dean please!"
Dean's blood ran cold.
Sam thought he was back in the Cage, and he was screaming. For him.
Dean swore. He grabbed Sam's neck. "Sammy, Sam! Look at me, you're not there!" He shook Sam's head, but all he got was more heaving. "You're not there man!" Sam's head bobbing like a buoy adrift in a hurricane. The tear of his that hit Dean's hand felt like a knife wound.
Dean's hand locked in Sam hair, half a fisted grasp, half a caress "Hang on buddy."
Hell had no night, no day, it was always a red haze shrouded in a translucent mist that leached a cold down into the very marrow of his bones, even with all the hellfire. Lucifer didn't torture endlessly. He liked to back off, one hour every day, so he could sit against the black shredded ancientness that was his prison and listen to the sounds of Sam's weakness, of his quiet pleading for it all to be over.
Sam was pinned down to ancient rotting wood, the rack now lying flat again, like a broken bed. The sounds of hell outside the cage would have haunted his nightmares if he were ever allowed to get out and dream. Instead they haunted his every moment. Sam had retained his body in hell, it allowed Lucifer to play on every physical weakness, explore every facet of exploiting it a million different ways.
Lucifer was picking at his teeth with a human finger bone, not saying anything, just watching, Some days Sam screamed, some days he pleaded, but it was always for the same thing. Dean.
Today Sam's neck was chained so he couldn't look anywhere but up at the Cage roof, where a troop of harpies slept upside down like bats, their hideous human faces wrinkled and decayed, their slime dripping onto his body. Lucifer hummed monotonously beside him. Outside the bars of the Cage souls screamed as they were torn into by demons.
Sam closed his eyes, trying to be somewhere else. He tries to remember what the Impala smells like, what she felt like, scared when he can't really remember anymore, it had been too long. Soon he wouldn't remember at all. His life would be nothing but hell. His dry lips split and bled when he opened them warbling out the words to a song almost on auto pilot, because he'd been here a hundred years, and as strong of a man and a hunter he had become, it was still a hundred years, and he sometimes he couldn't do anything else:
"Imagine there's no heaven..it's easy if you try…no hell below us…"
"No one likes a liar Sam," Lucifer throws out with a smirk.
Sam's eyes close tighter and tears scald his vision.. "above us only sky…"
Dean didn't jog to the car, or jog back. He ran, he ran like it was his job, a crowbar in one hand and an axe in the other. He ran up the porch and opened the little door by his feet where 50 years ago, milkmen would place glass bottles here for the house. Fifty years later Dean held an axe instead of milk, and when he opened the little door, and peered up in it, he didn't see empty bottles, he saw his brother's legs, contorted so much they looked broken, and he wasn't moving. Not that Dean even thought he could.
"Hang on Sammy!" Dean shouts up and pulls out and lets loose with the axe. He aims low and high, and prays he doesn't hit Sam because he has no way to judge. The white washed wood cracks and splinters. Dean does this ten times, twenty, then something breaks free. The side of the house splinters away, and it looks like it gives birth to Sam as his brother slides out in a tumble of sweat soaked clothes and limbs.
Dean is crouched over him instantly, turning him over, slapping the sides of his face.
Sam's eyes come open, they are glazed with pain.
"Hey buddy," Dean says in that relieved voice he reserves only for moments when one or both of them is too out of it for jokes. "Sammy you with me? Anything hurting?" He checks him over, sees no obvious injuries, nothing looks broken or out of place.
Sam tried to say something, but four hours with no water has left his tongue useless. His breathing is weak and shallow, and when Dean goes to lift his head, he has to do all the work.
Sam swallows: "Imagine there's no heaven…easy if you try" His song from hell comes out of it, he shivers.
Dean's eyes go wide when he hears John Lennon's song from Sam's mouth. He was completely out of it and showing all the signs of heat stroke. But his concern melts into pure sadness when the next words fall out of Sam's mouth.
"No hell below us…"
"Ah, Sammy…" Dean lifts him awkwardly up into the bend of his arm, palming a hand into the side of Sam's face, feeling his throat close up.
Sam is covered in sweat. Dean knows Sam is dangerously dehydrated and needs water. But the water's in the car, and he can't leave him, he won't leave him. "Hang on pal, Sammy hang on." Dean braces Sam's head on his shoulder, slides one of Sam's arms over his neck then the other on his waist. Then he braces himself – he refuses a fireman's carry on the grounds that Sam would hallucinate it into something horrifying – and lifts his little brother's 220 pounds, almost buckling under the weight. But he holds, he refuses to drop him.
He staggers down the first step just as Mary comes running up, her lost wide eyed look from earlier finally finding Sam. "What the hell?" Her yoga bag drops to the pavement in surprise watching Dean struggle to carry Sam down the steps.
Dean pushes past her Sam's long legs bumping into her shoulder limply. "Board up your fucking milk door," he growls.
"My what?" Mary stutters. She watches the two men go into the car, one being laid down by the shorter one in the back seat. The car disappears, and she sits down on her mangled front steps and watches it drive away, mouthing:"Milk door?"
"…Above us only sky
Imagine all the people,
Living for today."
When Sam opens his eyes again, it's to the feeling of something rubbing his legs, hands, strong hands that takes away the initial flinch of envisioning being scraped by knives.
He moves, and the rubbing stops. "Sam?" The hand is on his shoulder.
"Don't." Sam licks his lips, he feels water going into his mouth. He swallows greedily. "Stop."
The water disappears and a warm rag comes back on his face, blocking out his eyes.
Sam slides it off and blinks at Dean who is sitting perched on a chair by a bed he doesn't remember lying on. "What was that for?" he hoped he got the words out right, his mouth feels dry as dust.
"For being gross, man we're brothers." Dean chides, but it isn't a real chide, his eyes are too weary for that. He flips off the radio, cutting off Lennon mid way through his song. "Here, sit up." Dean slides a pillow behind Sam without asking, and helps him into a sitting position. "How do you feel?"
"How's it look like I feel?" Sam returns with a voice that sounds like gravel rattling around inside a tin can. He accepts the water bottle when Dean offers it to him.
"No hell?" Dean says seriously, not taking the joke.
Sam blinks, he smells the sulfur, for just an instant, then it's gone. "No hell."
Dean blinks. "Good." He doesn't know what else to say, he won't put Sam through that again, not unless he wanted to talk about it. And Dean wasn't girly and emo like his brother, but he could still read him, he didn't want to talk, not about that, not now. "Don't ever scare me like that again, dude."
Sam tries to laugh, hoping that it sounds right. "Sorry man."
"You should be," Dean rakes a hand through his cropped hair. "I swear Sam I'm never buying milk again. He eyes Sam. "You think you're up for a shower? Cause I can go a whole year without having to sponge bathe you again."
This time Sam's laugh is a little better. He stands up, testing out the strength in his legs, he wobbles for a moment, Dean hovers for a moment, but after a few seconds of this dance, Sam is still standing.
"S-u-c-c-e-s-s," Sam says dryly, walking with a bowlegged limp towards the bathroom. His entire body ached and it took about five minutes longer than it normally would to walk across to the closet of a bathroom.
"Call when you're done," Dean says from where he's standing beside his chair. It wasn't a joke or a request.
"Yes Mom," Sam says closing the door on Dean's look.
Sam stares in the mirror. Getting trapped inside a milk chute for four hours wasn't a flattering look, he looks like something sat on his face and scooted around. He checks down his body for any bandages finding only one binding what felt like a few broken ribs. He had a few good looking dark bruises on his shoulders and they hurt like he'd been bench pressing for five days straight. He was dizzy still, and his hands were shaking, so he turned on the shower so he could clean up quickly. He would even take Dean's 'I'm-so-not-mothering' mothering hen look when he came out in five minutes to go and lie back down.
He raked a hand through his stiff filthy hair, and little flecks of old yellow paint came away in his fingernails.
Sam's eyes went wide:
Old yellow paint. It was old yellow paint.
Old yellow paint.
Lucifer stood up and clawed a hand through his hair, flakes of sulfur falling down around Sam like rain.
"…does the singing really help Sam? Does it make you think of home?"
"Sam?" Dean was so not mothering. Even Sam didn't do 30 minute showers.
He opened the door.
"Sam? Dude you good?"
The shower was running, the curtain drawn.
"Damnit Sam," Dean stepped closer to the shower when he got no response. "Either you answer me or I'm about to scar us both for life."
"Fine, you're funeral."
Dean drew back the curtain –
and wished he hadn't.
Sam was crouched in a ball in the shower, still fully dressed. Clothes soaked through, hair plastered to his face which was pressed down to his drawn up knees.
Dean cut off the water. "What the hell Sam?" He disappeared and came back out with a blanket. His shoes squished in the shower water as he climbed in and draped the dry blanket over his brother.
Sam looked up at Dean's face at the contact, his face was soaked like the rest of him, but not with water.
"Sam?" Dean knelt down next to him laid a hand on Sam's shoulder.
A sob shuttered and shook out of Sam, broken and choking, his whole body shook with it like a whiplash. He raised his hand up and covered his mouth, his other fist closed and fought brokenly for purchase against the slick shower floor.
Dean reached behind him and grabbed his brother's neck pulling him to him, feeling Sam fall against him and attach himself to him fiercely, arms locking against his back. Dean's chin was on the top of Sam's head, fingers raking through his brother's wet hair. The other on Sam's back, holding, just holding. "I know man," Dean said almost in a whisper, his tears falling silently, sliding into Sam's hair. "I hate the milkman too."
Lyrics are from "Imagine" by John Lennon.
It was originally supposed to be pure humor, but it had to be this.